Months ago, my side of the family began piecing together what looked to be a pretty fun weekend. A date was chosen, activities were planned and the invitations went out. As the weekend got closer I have to be honest, some feelings of fear and apprehension began to creep into my thinking, dampening my excitement just a tad. Social gatherings have already been challenging for our family and I know we're not alone.
This was to be no ordinary reunion as the event would move from one home to another as well as involving a day in the mountains with lots of outdoor fun together. We knew Bobby would become overwhelmed with the activities, large groups of people, our preoccupation with enjoying family we hadn't seen in ages. Also, we have learned that if Bobby doesn't feel he's fitting in, things can go badly quite rapidly.
One thing that can make or break a large get-together is the feeling of acceptance (or lack thereof). So often families who venture out meet with judgement & harsh criticism. The onlookers may feel the parents of this child should really "work a bit harder at their discipline" and those same well-meaning family members may even dare to offer their advice. (When all this happens, it really isn't a fun place for these special kids OR their parents!) I recommend only attending a family reunion after really thinking out your "plan" & enlisting the help of trusted family who can help spell you off, allowing you time to visit and enjoy activities.
The good news tonight is that we had a fantastic weekend. No question. Was it flawless? Nope. Our son hid under a car at the first house, hiding from cousins. He said a few embarrassing things that fortunately only a few people heard and we "lost" him several times. But all-in-all, the weekend was filled with laughter, learning to fly fish, (thanks to a cool cousin), swimming, eating & having great fun together.
Looking forward to the next reunion!!! Thanks little buddy. Thanks for letting us share you with the entire family! (I love my family and appreciate their support & acceptance. They're awesome!)