- 5 years ago
- Wedding: July 2013
Almost five years ago, I began teaching children with moderate to severe autism in a preschool classroom. Two particular students (brother and sister) absolutely melted my heart, and inspired me to build my career teaching children with special needs.
Over the years, I’ve worked in different classrooms, and worked with dozens of students.. but these two will always be some of my favorite kids.
So when my fiance proposed last October, a coworker pointed out that another woman who used to work at our school had included one of her former students as the ring bearer. My mind immediately jumped to the two little peanuts from my first classroom…. how cute they would be! And how wonderful it would be to include the children who helped inspire me to be the person I am.
But.. I hadn’t been in their classroom for a few years. I had done some babysitting for them, and their parents were wonderful – every time I babysat, I wound up spending nearly an extra hour after their parents got home just chatting with them. But it had been several months since I had babysat them or seen their parents (though I still see the kids around school, and I still work with them in an after school program).
I asked some coworkers and friends what they thought. Some thought it was cute and a great idea. Others thought it was weird, and would fail miserably even if the parents said yes. Some thought it had been too long since I’d seen the parents, and it would be awkward to ask now. Others said I should try anyway.
So I decided to ask. But how? A phone call would put them on the spot. Email is too impersonal. Snail mail letter? Outdated, but at least a hand-written letter is personal, but doesn’t put them on the spot. So I wrote it out, addressed it, stamped it……. and then let it sit on my kitchen table for several weeks before I got enough courage to stick it in the mailbox. I finally mailed it Saturday!
The parents called me on Monday (they called as soon as they read my letter!) to tell me they love the idea, and they are 100% in!
I coudn’t be happier!!! They were flattered I’d asked, excited to be a part, and the only thing they thought was weird about it was the fact that I was worried it would seem weird. Haha.
Both of the kids have autism, and so may not follow directions perfectly. But I’d rather let their personalities shine through than try to make them fit into the standard “flower child” role of sprinkling flower petals from a basket along the aisle.
The little boy LOVES to run, and loves to wave things (paper, straps on his backpack, yarn, etc) so I am thinking of giving him a ribbon wand to wave and run with. Even if he winds up running back and forth up and down the aisle, I’d love it, because that’s him and that’s what makes him happy.
The little girl loves dress up, loves posing and admiring herself in the mirror, and loves being the center of attention, so I’m content with her just strutting down the aisle. She is a little higher functioning than her brother, so I may try to show her how to throw petals or (biodegradable) confetti… but she’s also got a stubborn streak so I’m pretty sure if I ask her to do something, she won’t do it (her sassiness is one of the reasons why I love her!). But I’m confident that just giving her a pretty dress to put on will make her happy, and that’s what I care most about.
I just kind of wanted to share my excitement about having these two amazing kids in my wedding! I can’t wait to get started picking out their outfits and finding cute ribbon wands!
What do you bees think? Weird? Cute? Any other ideas than confetti, petals, or ribbon wands?