Alex received tickets to our local amusement park, Silverwood, through his service coordinator at a New Hope. The special time was for last night. So I took my son and we headed out. I expected to have fun and enjoy some one on one time with Al.
What I didn't expect was the emotional roller-coaster that had me close to tears for a good twenty minutes of being in the park. You see, The Night of Stars Event was a special event for anyone mentally or physically disabled or anyone diagnosed with a terminal illness.
It was very hard for me to be so obviously faced with the fact that my son has a mental disability. I understand that Alex has Aspergers but to be walking around in about a group of 5000 people with all sorts of problems just slammed home that my child was different. That we are part of "that group". It was one of those moments when you realize that the challenges facing this child, at this moment, labels him in a way that puts him at a disadvantage compared to everyone around him.
This brought that into such sharp focus that I had to fight off the tears. It is such a mixed bag raising a child with these types of challenges. On a day to day basis, I don't really see or treat him different. He is just Alex. It turned out to be a really nice evening, but I am not sure I want to go again. We shall see what next year brings.