Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Security of Doors

Peter actually seems to find security in doors. If you cannot find Peter, he is most likely near a door. Or, if Peter does not feel comfortable in his environment, he will find a door and there he will stay.
At a very early age, Peter had introduced himself to our new neighbors by placing himself inside their door frame. Around that same time, at a family Fourth of July party, in a Wally Cleaver neighborhood, Peter once again went in search of doors. Thinking Peter was once again under the watchful of eyes of the men in the crowd, I calmly sat talking to the female contingency. Then the call came out that Peter was missing. The boatload of children and the males, who really were not watching went on the hunt. Since Peter was not on familiar territory, no one brought him back. After much searching, Peter was found safely squished in between the screen door and front door of an unassuming neighbor. Peter, standing there, patiently waiting to be rescued. At that young age, there must have been something very special and comforting about standing between a screen door and a entry doors.
Peter, can also be found at the door if attending a play, a concert, really any place that requires one to sit and be entertained. There is conversation that takes place on the way to these events, where Peter will convince me that this will be the time he would come in, and remain seated the entire feature, offering me reassurance that this would be the time! At times, Peter may begin sitting, but I would have to say, always bolt at some time and heads for the door, never to return.

During these times, Peter usually becomes new best friends with the Security personnel, ushers, or whoever is closest to the doors. I, running up to the doors, as in the Kohl center in Madison at a Badger Band concert, or at a smaller venue, as in a play at a local high school, would be reassured that Peter is perfectly fine and his new BFF is now in charge. Go back to your seat they say...he is just fine!

One of the best moments that Peter became acquainted to a new best friend was a Christmas program that included members of Cirque de Soliel. Having just spent one and a half hours in the car, holding the "now you will sit with us during this performance" conversation, and anticipating a great evening, I honestly, thought Peter would accommodate my need for him to sit. Why, I even had the Special Needs seats. Unfortunately, we arrived after the performance started, and Peter wanted nothing to do with sitting, but preferred the spot by the door. It was not long until a female usher, came over to inform me that she would watch him and I should enjoy the evening. Occasionally, she would come over to reassure me that Peter was just fine. By the end of the evening, Peter and her were arm and arm singing Silent Night...a major undertaking! When you read about Silent Night...you will understand. Tears running down her face, she told me that this was the best Christmas ever, that she was so moved by Peter. I, of course, joined in the tearful moment, as I could see how Peter had left a special place in her heart.
So, again, a door, a secure place for Peter, but also a place where friends meet, and where others have taken over the responsibility of Peter for a short period of time, giving them a special moment with him and for me, an opportunity to pay attention to what is in front of me.

4 comments:

  1. I am a friend of Sara's from college and reading your blog is so inspirational. It uplifting to read about all the experiences Peter brought to your family. I have met Peter only a couple of times, but reading your blog has exposed me to his true gifts, the gifts of love, laughter and patience. I hope other parents of special needs children come across this blog, because it offers hope that many may not see.

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