Thursday, March 6, 2014

Choosing simple over the complicated - listening to my kid's wants

My son just celebrated his 6th birthday. The competitive mom side of me wanted to throw a huge birthday, invite all his friends and classmates, and have game stations. I was ready to plan a huge shebang! He would have hated every minute. I have learned that like many people with Aspergers, he does not do well with the unexpected chaos that can happen at big parties. So I asked what he wanted, and that is what we did. I had to accept that the whole point of the party was to do something for him.

Although there is nothing wrong with the huge celebrations, I had to realize that there is a time and a place. My daughter loves planning and throwing elaborate parties. We work together to pick a theme, craft projects, a menu, games and guest list. Little man, on the other hand, likes to have a few people over for a playdate and open gifts. Simple is what makes him happy, so we did simple.

For his actual birthday, I asked if he wanted to go to one of his favorite places for the day. I offered the zoo, the aquarium or even Bass Pro Shop because he loves to sit in the boats on display and pretend he's driving. He said, "nope." Instead of going anywhere, we stayed home and played with his new Lego sets, unlocked a new Minion in Despicable Me: Minion Rush (FREE, iPad/iPhone), downloaded the new Toca Pet Doctor app ($2.99, iPad/iPhone) and ate peanut butter sandwiches. He told me it was a fantastic day.

It goes against my nature, but I am learning to not over complicate life. As Confucius said, "Life is really simpler, but we insist on making it complicated." Although I cannot control all of the complexity in life for my family, I am learning not make certain parts unnecessarily complicated. 

Rachel H wishes a happy birthday to her now 6 year old!

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