When Perfect Plans Fail, Just Do Them Over

Sabrina L. Johnson avatar

by Sabrina L. Johnson |

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do-over | Angelman Syndrome News | Juliana stands on the golf course as her father explains the rules of the sport to her sister

Photo by Sabrina L. Johnson

Juliana watches as her dad explains golf rules and do-overs to her sister, Jessa.

As the parent of an Angel, I have learned that things don’t always go as planned.

My 11-year-old Angel, Juliana, is getting better at a lot of things as she gets older. However, sometimes she continues to have unpredictable behavior.

It is medically proven that Angels have anxiety issues, and uncertain situations can make things worse. When a special event occurs at the same time as a challenging moment for Juliana, a do-over is probably in our future.

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Let’s do that again

The do-over, or mulligan, is a golf term that means you get a second chance after a bad shot or action. The do-over can also have a place in everyday life. As a special needs parent, having a reset option gives us a sense of normalcy and helps to relieve stress when things don’t go as planned.

I need do-overs a lot, and I use them often.


do-over | Angelman Syndrome News | Juliana smiles while wearing an "Everything is lovely" shirt

Everything is lovely with Juliana on many days, but when they’re not, her mother plans do-over’s. (Photo by Sabrina L. Johnson)

A lot of things happen when raising an Angel. Things can change quickly for us, and it’s impossible to always prepare for the unexpected. But do-overs — just like simple living — are a big help.

This year, we had a do-over for both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The day before Mother’s Day was a tough one for Juliana, which made it tough for me, too.

When I knew I would be too tired and uninterested to celebrate Mother’s Day the next day, I called a mulligan. Because this is a part of our family’s culture, everyone understood, and we celebrated the next Sunday just like it was Mother’s Day. I even delayed opening my gifts.

The time is not always now

When I know Juliana is feeling unwell or is having a bad day, I announce that we’ll have a do-over. Then, as a family, we adjust our plans and move on.

I’ve lost track of the number of redo’s we’ve had over the last 10 years. There have been a lot. I started doing them when I realized that Juliana was unlikely to have a good day.

The do-overs aren’t always because of Juliana. In many cases, too many things have come together at the wrong time.

The resets also remove the pressure to make an event fit the norm. Holidays don’t have to take place because the calendar says so.

Knowing your Angel well enough to plan around her moods and unpredictable behavior is a smart tactic to me. But even smarter is protecting the friend and family activities that are important and healthy for us. The power of the do-over lets us reset when we need to and remake our plans for a better day.


Note: Angelman Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Angelman Syndrome News, or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Angelman syndrome.


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