Monday, April 26, 2010

Popeye Party Boy...

This weekend was he-who-thinks-blogs-are-stupid's birthday party. The party was in a room, in a pub, in the inner west. Like the old days, when we could party all night without any obligations.

This time though, Billy came along too.

It was a tough ask, we knew, but we also feel the time is coming for us to be kind of 'out and proud' as a family. Billy is who he is, autism and all. We are also who we are, and that was/is people who really value friends, music, fun and the odd drink or two.

So, we all went together, on the understanding that I would not drink, so when Billy had had enough, he and I would head home, leaving the birthday boy to get smashed with his friends.

And so it was.

Billy was a freaking champion.

He sat at (OK, sometimes under) a table and had dinner (OK, a couple of chips). He loved the room, which was full of games machines (old school arcade games and foosball and ping pong). He loved that it was full of adults, who all thought he was charming and funny. Many of them hadn't seen him since we went into our self imposed exile around diagnosis time, so this giant grown up long haired boy was quite a surprise.

He chatted, he played and he found a little safety spot (amazingly next to the chocolate birthday cake) where he could play trains and re-group (and steal peanut M&Ms off the cake).

He also stimmed off the flying table tennis balls, charged from one side of the room to the other, hugged every person we introduced him to and forgot (twice) to pull his pants up before re-joining the party after a wee break.

It looked odd sometimes (to the unitiated), but you know what?

We couldn't be prouder (more proud). The birthday boy had a blast. I got to chat to friends in a pub for the first time in four years, and most of all... our family unit presented as a whole - Daddy, Mummy and Boy...

Popeye boy - he is who he is. Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck...

If only he'd eat spinach... now that really would be something...


Mich9 said...

Hooray for Billy! And hooray for Mummy who had the confidence that he could handle it! :)

And happy birthday to He-Who-Thinks-Blogs-Are-Stupid (but probably not so much anymore!)!


Lisa said...

Grats, Val, for being brave. And for having a 'Plan B'.
The uninitiated will always find someone to point at and tut-tut about. They don't have anything to talk about otherwise. hehe

Now you can start getting inventive with your social life. Locate pubs with playgrounds. Find cafes with staff who won't sniff when you order a bowl of steamed rice with tomato sauce (as I did in Singapore!)
Get out there and be different in public, and proud of it. Start a list of places that work for Billy, and promote them around the network.
And when you're exhausted, it's just so comfortable to entertain at home, where Mr Getting-more-independent can join in or leave as he pleases.


Debbie said...

Now THAT is awesome. So glad it worked and everyone enjoyed themselves!