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Anything is Possible if you Dare to Dream

November 17, 2008

What's Uno and how do you play it. . .


Or more importantly, how come my kids know the rules and I don't?

Lately I seem to be writing more and more about how much our lives have changed, since we became special needs parents. I vaguely remember playing Uno with my husband and friends during our "early years." Now I can't remember the last time I picked up a deck of cards, until last night.

Last night at church, we were challenge to learn how to be generous while playing a variety of simple games. Our table chose Uno before we realized than none of us could remember the rules. You'd think they would be printed on the back of the package, but apparently the rules are so simple they don't need to publish them.

Not so simple for a couple of lawyers (us), who spend all our free time dealing with our special needs children. Remind me to write the manufacturer and tell them to produce a set of cards for special needs parents.

Seriously, I have been watching my children play cards together for weeks now. It's great for us. It keeps them busy for a while and gives us a chance to read the paper, take a nap or blog.

So what's wrong with this picture?

We're not in it!

Our kids are sitting on the great room floor happily playing a game of cards and we're off doing something else.

If I think back far enough, I can remember playing games with my parents during family vacations, on the weekends and on holidays. Granted we had to coax them into it, because they were also busy professionals, but they joined us more times than not.

I also remember my autistic 12-year-old asking us recently to play cards with her and we told her to play with her brother instead, because we were too busy.

What!!!!

Too busy to play with a young girl, who is struggling very hard to reach out to people she knows and learn how to interact with them.

Shame on us!!!

And then again, maybe not. I can drop everything and deal with a special needs crisis at any time of the day or night, without blinking an eye.


  • I've been called out of my own physical therapy session to pick my son up at school and take him to the emergency room;

  • We've driven out of the garage at 1 a.m., with our son struggling to breathe, realized the tire on our Pilot was flat, remembered that we had no spare and changed cars without blinking an eye; and

  • I've driven all the way from downtown to meet my husband and daughter at the doctor's office, because of a severe allergic reaction, only to find out that the doctor was closed for lunch, so we went across the street to the local children's ER. Probably would have ended up there anyway.

It takes a great deal of energy, time and patience to parent special needs children and I can special needs parent with the best of them.

My goal this holiday is to learn how to be a "normal" parent.

I'm going to find all those fun card games that we used to play when I was a kid and, on Christmas day, I going to get down on the floor with my kids and learn how to play them. And next time one of them asks me to join in their game, I'm going to find the time to do so!

Nianya

P.S. I'm open to suggestions for fun card games. I can't remember the names of most of them.