I am happy to say that we survived the holidays of 2013!
Not the usual I can’t stand my relatives-turkey is dry-Uncle Norm’s breath is terrible-vomit on my favorite pumps around here….more like will Timothy sit at the table for any length of time or will he sit in the living room and scream like last year? Or will he allow family around him? Little bit of both. Since I worked the holidays this year (life as a nurse gotta love it), we had our get-to-gethers in the off peak times. December 23rd my brother and his family and also my Dad joined us for a meal and exchange of gifts for the kids.
Timothy’s behaviour was over the top horrible. I was at my wits end with him and he is my own child who I am used to screaming and making odd noises. He screamed when someone tried to talk to him, get him something or came near him. He refused to eat or be touched. Even his favourite toys and movies did not give us any reprieve. Try explaining this to family that doesn’t see him often…even though they “get it” they really don’t and it hurts to see him so stressed…too many people + too close = can’t wait for the holidays to be over.
When things at home are good they are really good. This doesn’t mean they aren’t peppered with tantrums and screaming. Those things are a part of our lives and we are thankful when they are lessened and things in Timothy’s little body are at peace. He did really enjoy his gifts this year which brought us SO much joy. This is hopeful. Not the gift in itself but the awareness that the gift brings. The holiday. The fact that something special is happening.
Awareness is big in this house. It has become a teaching tool and not just for autism, but for any other “exceptionality”. Looking different, acting different, being different. So often we take for granted having things. Ability to speak, to walk, to talk.
How can a child who cannot talk be my greatest teacher in life? Working so hard for a reward so tiny. A rare hug, a smile, a gaze that speaks volumes. A 5 going on 6 year old that tells me he loves me with his eyes every day. And that my friends, is worth the price of admission any day.