In May 2007, Peter was invited to attend a birthday party of a neighborhood friend named Ryan. Ryan & Peter are the same age. Ryan’s party was held at an indoor party facility that features huge, inflatable moon bounces and slides. As a parent, you don’t forget a day like that. Peter screamed and fought even entering the play area. He demanded to be held (for roughly 1.5 hours) & attempted to escape every time someone opened the door. After the playtime ended, all the kids were corralled into a party room where pizza & birthday cake were served. Peter refused to even try one bite of anything. It was a very long 2 hours (out of a very long year or two!)
Yesterday was Ryan’s 5th birthday party. It was held at KIDS N MOTION. It is nearly identical as last year’s party site. The flood of awful memories from Peter’s 2007 reaction to all this was weighing heavy on us as we entered the building. We told him we were going to Ryan’s party in a ‘bouncy playground’. He seemed receptive to the notion, but we knew once he saw the room, we’d have a problem on hand. The door opened to the playroom, and Peter froze, just as he had last year. We scooped him up & set him down in the middle of the room. All the kids were swirling around, jumping & sliding – and howling with glee. Peter watched his sister enter one of the moon bounces & jump endlessly. He walked over to the moon bounce’s door touched it a few times… AND CLIMBED IN! Within seconds, he was jumping and smiling ear-to-ear.
He followed Emma up the steps to the top of an enormous slide, and slid down without hesitation, and did it again & again & again. I was in awe of his bravery, and the contrast between 2007 & 2008 was huge.
After the playtime ended, we went into a party room where pizza and birthday cake were served. Unlike last year’s celebration, Peter ate pizza & birthday cake with all the other kids.
If you have a child like Peter – and you have thought “We can NEVER try this again” with your child, see where you are in a year – you may be amazed at the difference a year can make!
Take a look!