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Every year, I tend to idealize the holiday season. I imagine our family enjoying all the fabulous cliche activities – events at the local libraries or museums, visiting Santa, the tree lighting at Lambeau Field…all the things.
Reality? We’ve never gone to a holiday event at a local library or museum. We have one picture with Santa, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. We attended the tree lighting at Lambeau twice, but only go when it’s nearly over and mostly cleared out.
The thing is, I’m okay with that. I’m happy with our not-so-ordinary life. I love our children and wouldn’t change them for the world.
But if I could make certain things a little easier for them, I would.
Isn’t that a natural feeling for anyone we love, whether or not they have autism? All of us want our loved ones to be happy. None of us wish to see our loved ones struggle.
We advocate for accommodations, adhere to as much routine as possible, and schedule downtime. We meet each other with grace and cuddles.
Yet, our kids’ holiday season is filled with anxiety. Our family unit claws its way to the New Year. The New Year always greets us with hope – and a return of our routine.
During the holiday season, it can be difficult to see the good in each day. But in those challenging weeks (and months), clinging to the positive is most important.
Can you promise me something? No matter how challenging your day is, before you close your eyes to fall asleep, think of one positive thing that happened. It can be as small as making it through the day. Because that is positive! I promise to do this, too. We’ll do this together and it will see us through our most difficult days.
My daughter made me laugh today.
After I picked Jo up from preschool, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” played on the radio. Each time the question was posed, Jo matter-of-factly replied, “Yeah. I do.”
What is one positive thing that happened to you today?