Wow, I am amazed as I am every year at this time that Christmas is here. I know that sounds weird but it seems to me it arrives sooner and sooner each year. due to the stores putting out decorations around the Fourth of July these days. But I think that because so much of the feelings and hopes for a “Happy Holiday” and a “Merry Christmas” are centered around a rush of lights, colors, sounds, smells and required activities that I think I see, to a lesser degree than before, but still see Christmas as as “Oh my God, how will we get Elizabeth to do this activity?” or “How will she do in the big crowd?” “what social story can I use to help guide her behavior?” We have had many a Christmas decorating where Emily was happily hanging ornaments and Elizabeth could not be coaxed from behind a chair in the den. We have had a number of Christmas days that saw Elizabeth asking not once but what felt like 753 times “Time to go home now, right Mom?”
It is not easy to be on the road we are all on. Those who have a special needs child know that what others take for granted are things we may have to work very hard for. We have worked very hard to get where we are now. But our work is not done, I think we will always have work to do.
I think sometimes as you are so deep in the trenches of life that we don’t take a moment to see the successes of our hard work. (OUR being the child and you)
I am happy to say our hard work has allowed Elizabeth to enjoy the first of the holiday days this year…she loved Thanksgiving, sat beautifully at the table and talked like a lady… I’ll take that victory. She decorated the tree yesterday, happily and while singing Christmas songs…I will take this too! Oh and we taught her how to make a snowball, a much sought after skill but one she still stuggled with, until today. Yeah, I will take that one also.
So I offer out today that chance for those in those trenches to sit in this Post Thanksgiving-Pre Christmas time and think of a success that was not there last year. To allow yourself to know that at this time in 2011, your child did not know this or do that. Then enjoy it.
We all need to get ready for the December onslaught, but for now take that moment….I know I am.