Life On The B Side

Taking all that life throws at us one moment at a time

Play Date For 2 September 17, 2018

Ace and Jay have never gone to the same school.  Mostly because they had different needs and the same school was never able to provide each kid what he needed.


In our area, there are 20 elementary schools that feed into 10 middle schools.  At the elementary school that Ace attended, the kids split fairly evenly between 2 of the middle schools based on where the kid lives.  At Jays elementary school though, the kids pretty much all end up at 1 middle school.  Jay will not go to that middle school.  He will instead take the bus with Ace and for the first time ever, next year, they will walk the same hallways and eat at the same cafeteria.


I say all that to say, when Ace began middle school last year, he knew a bunch of the other students already, but the one boy that he became the best friends with had come from the school that Jay currently goes to, so he hadn’t known anyone there prior to last September.


A couple of weeks ago Ace came home telling me that he and Nick wanted to hang out on the weekend so could I please speak with Nicks parents and arrange it.  Sure, no problem.


As the plans were coming together, Jay asked if he could hang out with them also.  He too knew Nick even though Nick was 2 grades ahead of him.  When Nick was at Jays elementary school they had both been in the same before and after care group.  They were friends of sorts.  Ace said he was ok with it.  Since the hang out was happening at Nicks house I made sure to clear the extra guest with Nicks parents.  We were a go.


At 11 am, we pulled up to Nicks driveway, made sure everyone was good, agreed on a 6pm return drop off and left.

All afternoon my phone was quiet.  That meant things were going well.  Right?


Just after 6, our doorbell rang and 2 happy boys waved their goodbyes to Nick and his parents and came bounding inside.


Later, I texted a thank you to the parents for having my 2 over and the reply said, “No problem!  They are wonderfully well-mannered boys and they are welcome at our house any time!”

The !’s and the “welcome any time” means the parents weren’t just being nice.  It means the boys really had all had a great time and my 2 really had been well behaved.  If the parents were just being polite the response would have said something like “You’re welcomeglad they had a good time.”  Right?  I think so.


I am so pleased that Ace has a good friend who seems to be a good kid from a delightful family.  I am so pleased that Jay had a good time with them and there were no attitude problems or meltdowns (I hadn’t told the parents about Jays autism).  I am so pleased that next year, Jay will know at least two students at his school – even though he will probably only see them in the hallways or the cafeteria.  Hopefully he will find his own Ace, just as Nick had.


Weekend – Part 1 – Play Date May 19, 2015

This past Saturday we met up with a friend of Ace’s at an indoor trampoline place.  Let’s call him Antonio.

First of all, my boys LOVE trampolining.  Second of all, it was Antonio’s idea to go there.  WIN!!!

I had seen this particular friend a bunch of times when I went to pick Ace up at school but I had never met his parents before.

I’m always a little nervous about meeting new parents.  First of all, even though Ace is a total sweetheart and he loves everybody as though they are his family, he is a HIGH ENERGY, get all up in your space, kinda kid and second of all … Jay is … unpredictable.

Antonio’s mom arrived with her cousin who also has a little boy.  The family could NOT have been nicer.  As it turns out Antonio is also on the autism spectrum.  It wasn’t obvious to me in the times I had seen him but that’s what his mom said.  We easily struck up a conversation about Jay and his struggles vs strengths as well as those of Antonio.

The 4 boys were having a great time and us adults were having easy and fun conversations.

All good.


Then a group came in for a birthday party.  This group ruined everything.  First of all, they brought in pizza for their guests.  Second of all, they did not bring pizza for Jay.  This lead to a meltdown of semi-epic proportions.  We had about 30 minutes left on our time so I tried really hard to keep him calm so the other boys could finish up their jumping session.

Antonio’s mom and cousin weren’t phased at all.  Like, AT ALL.  Not even a little bit.  They asked if I wanted to leave.  They would have been ok with that.  I declined.  They asked if there was anything they could do.  I asked them to just keep their eyes on Ace while I sat on the floor and rocked with Jay.

The original plan was for us to go our separate ways at the end of the two jumping hours but as we were changing shoes to go, they suggested that we all go to Pizzeria Uno for a late lunch/early dinner.  They knew Jay wanted pizza and they weren’t quite ready to ditch us yet.  WIN!!!

As soon as Jay heard that we were going for pizza his mood changed and we all ended up having a REALLY NICE meal.  Conversation flowed smoothly and the kids behaved as well as 4 boys between the ages of 4 and 9 can be expected to behave.  They ate and laughed and talked and managed to only spill 1 drink.


Three hours after the play date was supposed to end, we said our goodbyes with promises to do it again soon.  I hope they meant it. First of all because Ace really likes hanging out with Antonio and second of all because I really liked hanging out with Antonio’s mom and cousin.