It is easy to get caught up in the idea of how Christmas should look. As autism parents we have had many experiences with things not turning out how we pictured them (school concerts, birthday parties, a trip to the grocery store). For Christmas this year I am giving myself the gift of low expectations. No visions of family times gathered around singing carols and basking in each other’s company. If we all end up in the same room as the tree while searching for the charger to the iPad then I will consider Christmas to be a social success.
This one is a tough gift to give and will take layers of wrapping in order to get the necessary thick skin. But it is a really good gift if assembled correctly. As long as my children are kind to others and happy themselves I will be satisfied. If they can’t manage small talk or refuse to wear a bra (the girl child not the boy) then I am not going to stress over it. I stress enough over that stuff all year. This Christmas my gift to myself is to let all that go, at least for Christmas week.
This Christmas I am not making anyone go anywhere they don’t want to go. It is not that I am a push over. I push my children out of their comfort zones daily. It is actually my chief occupation, but for Christmas we are all getting the gift of down time. With no guilt and no worry about what others think (because I will have already given myself gift number two and I will be using it liberally).
Instead of rushing to appointments and school and work and trying to do therapy and homework and all the many other commitments we typically have, I am going to enjoy hours, many guilt free hours, in the snuggle chair, in my pyjamas, eating fudge and binge watching Scandal; content in the fact that my kids are getting a great gift too, a happy and relaxed Mom.
from my family to yours!