Monday, January 27, 2014

A Birthday Party (Somewhat) Unlike Others

One day, the Lightning Kid received an invitation to a birthday party.  He had been to other parties in the past, but this one was different - it came from a classmate at school.  This party was not being held by friends of the King and Queen, nor by classmates of Shark Boy who had opted to include younger siblings.  The Lightning Kid was being invited on the merits of his own friendship.

The King and Queen were thrilled.  And they felt strange about being thrilled; the Lightning Kid was well liked within his class, and certainly the other toddlers had no understanding of his difference - why shouldn't he be invited?  Still the Royal parents could remember their darker days when they were wrestling with having been delivered the news that the Lightning Kid was different than other children.  At the time they tried to consider every potential implication, and a big one was what kinds of friendships would he have if he was so different from other children?

The big day came and the Queen took the young prince to the party.  He was greeted with cheers and smiles and returned those greetings with high-fives (for the adults) and hugs (for his friends).

The party had balloons, a ball pit to jump and crawl around in, slides to descend, and cupcakes for sharing.  As could be expected, the Lightning Kid was all smiles for the duration of the party.
The biggest smiles though, were probably on the faces of the Queen while she observed all this, and the King when he had the story related to him later.  

The Queen wrote the birthday boy's mother a thank-you message the next day, explaining how much it meant to her and the King to have their son invited that way, and the reasons why.  The boy's mother wrote back the next day:

To be honest when I first saw the Lightning Kid joined the class it made me happy - I was glad that the school catered to everyone (it made me like them even more) but also happy that our son was in a diverse classroom....I know as you said kids don't really understand these kinds of differences right now but I think and hope that it will help in ensure in the future they treat everyone the way they should be treated.

This, naturally, led to even bigger smiles for the King and Queen.

1 comment:

  1. This is wonderful. I hope the peer-inclusion continues for your Lightning Kid. :)

    Many, many years ago, I student taught in an elementary school that housed all of the "physical and other health impairments" in the district. It was amazing to see the typical kids and the kids with an impairment interacting as if there were no differences. Since they saw each other every day, they considered each other "normal". That was what I loved most about the school.