In my family, Labor Day was the biggest picnic of the year. It was the day of the “ANYTHING GOES” picnic.
We had three teams who would plan games which were then played in my grandmother’s yard. The team captain of the team that lost would be required to take home and display a really awful looking large plaster dragon which had to be displayed until the next picnic. The teams; red, white and blue, marched around the yard, singing God Bless America with the Philadelphia Flyers’ version of Kate Smith in the background. And of course, we saluted the flag. The neighbors stood outside the fence watching.
You could not be on a team with your spouse. No one was excluded, so disability or not, you played. Without any planning, we adapted the games so that everyone was included. No one even mentioned the adaptations. The games varied from year to year. We liked timed events. One year, we wrapped the largest team member in toilet paper head to toe. One year we ate a team sundae (about a gallon of ice cream), digging in with our spoons(food safety not considered). We crawled through refrigerator cardboard boxes, ate something and ran back. One year, each teams teenage girl dressed as Wonder Woman and rescued a cat (stuffed variety) from a tree. We didn’t have events just for the family members with disabilities. We only had events where everyone participated.
The memories of my family and this picnic are awesome. I hope you are building memories in your family and your neighborhoods. We all have limitations- but we are all gifted. We all want to be seen and included.
Enjoy the weekend.