01 Sep Happiness Formula #1: Hope > Fear
Even if you’re an active, extroverted person who loves adventure, outings can be challenging when you’re a family that includes a child with special needs. And, to be completely honest, sometimes those extra challenges make me second guess whether or not the outing is worth the effort and the worry.
Earlier this summer, my daughters and I had the opportunity for a girls night out. One of our favorite bands, Home Free, was performing at a county fair less than two hours from our home. But, with my husband and son away at Boy Scout camp, I wasn’t sure if I had the moxie to take the girls on my own.
This decision came down whether or not my hopes were stronger than my fears.
How would Julia handle a late night out? Would the change in her routine lead to extra seizures?
Would she have a big seizure that required rescue meds? How would I give her rescue meds in public?
What if Julia needed to use restroom facilities? A rural county fair likely would not have the type of accessible bathrooms that we require.
What is she needed suctioning during the long drive to or from the concert? Would I have to pull over on the highway to clear her airway?
Too much stimulation can cause Julia to shut down. What if she just slept through the whole concert because it was too much for her?
Julia loves music, and Home Free is one of her favorites. She could love the concert.
Little sister Erica loves Home Free even more than Julia, and she really wanted to enjoy this experience with her big sister. This concert could be an opportunity to make great memories.
A beautiful summer night is Wisconsin is not to be missed. We need to soak up every bit of summer to carry us through the long, cold months of winter. The night of the concert was perfect – not too hot, and not too cool.
I often wish for the ability to make spontaneous decisions to have adventures, especially those simple outings that other families most likely take for granted. This was a chance to have some carefree fun.
Pushing Aside Fears So Hope Can Win
We did it. With a little extra planning, we were ready to face my fears head on. We packed the rescue meds and some extra supplies to make the back of the van into a temporary changing station. A family friend joined our girls night out, ensuring that there was another adult to help with any of Julia’s care needs. We had a low-key day before the concert, giving Julia some extra time for naps in preparation for a late night out.
And, we had an amazing experience. Julia wasn’t overwhelmed and handled the changes in her routine with no issues. She enjoyed every minute of the concert. We got matching concert t-shirts, sang along with our favorite songs, and felt the rumble run through us when the bass singer hit the lowest notes. We made memories instead of missing out and living with regrets.
I am so glad we didn’t let the fears win.
*If you’ve never heard of Home Free, here’s a link to the video they released the day of the concert we attended. With girl power the theme of our night out, the timing of this video release could not have been more perfect! We listened to it about five times on the drive to the concert. Let us know in the comments if you like this group as much as we do!