The Bayou Country EGGSperience Event will take place Saturday, March 20 from 3 to 6pm. The event will entail an array of activities and games. Children will also have fun prancing throughout the Bayou Country Sports Park seeking treasured eggs. During the event, a special needs egg hunt will be “Egg-ccentuated” for children with disabilities.
Houma resident Erica Lambert is a special needs mom to two strong-willed boys, Carson, who is 14 years old and Braylon, who is 10. Both children live with L1 Syndrome.
“Both my boys have L1 Syndrome. It’s a rare, neurological disorder that only affects males. The condition includes Hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain), low muscle tone, developmental delays, non-verbal, etc. Both boys are in wheelchairs and utilize walkers. As far as we know, they are the only ones with this disability in Louisiana,” Lambert explained.
Since both boys utilize wheelchairs and walkers, Lambert wanted to create a safe and more manageable egg hunt for them along with other handicapped children.
“Sometimes I get a wild hair and I’m like, ‘Let’s do this…let’s make it happen,” Lambert said with excitement.
“I was like, I want a special needs egg hunt,” she added.
Lambert is a member of a local Facebook group called “Rockstar Mommas”. It is a group for regional moms of special needs children to connect. Erica Duet is the creator of the cornerstone structure that pillars with encouragement, support, event notices, and ideas.
Rockstar mama Lambert presented the idea of the egg hunt specifically designed for disabled children to the Facebook support system. The moms all strummed their electric guitars in a harmonized “yes!”.
“We are a part of a special needs Facebook group. It ranges from Down Syndrome, to Autism, to my boys who have L1 Syndrome. There are all ranges of disabilities and special needs in the group. So, I asked the moms, ‘Hey, we’re having this. What are the reasons you would or would not go? And we pretty much all came to the consensus…It’s a lot of kids. Our kids need a little bit more assistance and other kids just don’t understand that,” Lambert explained.
“I contacted Dean Schouest and I said, ‘Hey, I would like to team up and do our own egg hunt, but on the splash pad. Kids in wheelchairs and walkers can get around easily. Dean said, ‘Go for it!’” she added.
Thus, the first egg hunt for local disabled children will take place at 5pm during the Bayou Country “EGGSperience” event.
Children who navigate with assistance can easily traverse the splash pad in an intimate environment. They will be able to explore a cement field of colorful balloons courtesy of Hi-5 and other private donors. Strings will be attached from the balloon to the egg, so little adventurers can comfortably uncover prized eggs.
“My children are in wheelchairs, so bending down and reaching all the way to the ground is not happening. So, if you attach balloons to the eggs, they can just grab the string of the balloon and put it in their basket. They can still do it with some assistance. It’s still fun,” Lambert explained.
The community has come together to weave a basket of helpfulness and fill it with over 700 eggs of generosity. Those eggs will be filled with toys, candy, etc. for the children of the event.
“I did not do this alone. The community has definitely stepped up and are really helping to make this an incredible evening,” Lambert said with gratefulness.
Eggs have been graciously donated by Houma Family Dental, Terrebonne Parish Council, Terrebonne Parish President, Gordon Dove and his wife Mona, and other locals.
Since special needs parents constantly fill a their own “baskets” with love and time to give to their disabled son or daughter, the benefactor bunny is not only dropping off eggs, but also gifts for a selected mom and dad of a special needs child.
“The Easter bunny is dropping off a gift for a special needs dad and a special needs mom. I feel lucky…I’m a stay-at-home mom and being a special needs mom or parent you kind of lose yourself in it, because your child comes first. It’s appointments, therapies, surgeries, etc. So, there are things that I do that just make me feel better and make me a better mom. It was my time to enjoy it,” Lambert said.
A drawing will be held so a mom and a dad can rejuvenate with gifts that were donated by: Houma Massage Co. (Massage); The Skin Refinery by Jess (Facial); Nutrition Wonderland (Gift card); and Murph Enterprises (Ice Chest along with Gift card).
“We wanted to include something a dad would enjoy, because sometimes they kind of get lost in the shuffle. They’re a huge part in this too,” she added.
The moms of the “Rockstar Mommas” Facebook group are familiar with unknown breakdowns within their children. Erica is hoping that the more intimate egg hunt will be somewhat peaceful and enjoyable for her boys and others that participate.
“We understand if your child is having a meltdown and we have no reason why. We all kind of go through similarities, even though they’re all different diagnoses,” Lambert said.
“I just hope it’s a day where if a child wants to pick up two eggs, just pick up two eggs. To have a chance to have as few meltdowns as we can have and just have fun,” she added.
Parents of special needs children will be able to connect with other moms of dads that walk down a familiar path. They can engage with each other in an atmosphere that is filled with similarities.
“I’m hoping parents possibly meet each other and to just see the kids in our community,” Lambert stated.
Since the separate egg hunt is accentuated for children with handicaps, “memory moments” can be made at their own pace. They can freely roam and hop into their true selves, brightening their hearts.
“I hope it’s an evening for them to just be themselves. I know it takes my children longer to do certain things…to just be able to enjoy the moment,” Lambert said.
The cozy splash pad will bring a sense of calmness. Children will feel a certain kinship to each other and possibly engage with soft smiles.
“I hope the parents feel safe and there’s not 9,000 kids, it’s just our community and just that option to let them go and see how they interact with other kids,” she added.
Lambert hopes that the day will float with a Spring breeze of warmth and laughter for the children and parents.
“That’s the goal…to get them all together and have fun,” Lambert ended.
For more information about the Bayou Country EGGSperience Event visit: www.bayousportspark.com Both egg hunts are scheduled for 5pm. Admission to the events are free. Kelsey Chauvin of Bijoux Photography will be donating her time by taking pictures of the event.