It’s Christmas vacation! I absolutely love this time of the year. And having kiddos makes the holidays even more special. I know it’s a cliche but it’s so true.
Sawyer’s wish list includes a crane, remote control car, garbage truck, snowboard, hockey skates, and every toy at Target. Which according to him seems completely logical.
Every single day we talk about Christmas. It has been so amazing.
I missed all of this stuff with Cooper so I am soaking up every aspect of it with my baby.
And yet, despite the Sawyer joys, Christmas is so challenging with an autistic kiddo. So many obligations. People. Christmas parties. Gifts. Expectations. Foods. Noises.
I work very hard to keep expectations for Cooper very low. He no longer goes with to ‘new’ Christmas parties. He can’t. It is way too stressful for him. And in turn me. People used to get mad at me about not bringing him. And at different times I have been guilted into doing so. I think the last time I brought him to a ‘friends’ house for a party he knocked over a DVD rack holding roughly 750 DVD’s.
We weren’t invited back. And good riddance.
I don’t make him eat the food that is prepared. Never. I don’t take away the Kindle. I let him wear whatever he wants. And fingers crossed that involves pants. He’s allowed to roam and move throughout the house. He can have quiet time whenever he wants it.
This has taken me 6 years friends. If you have younger kids that are newly diagnosed you may still be struggling with this. It’s a really hard balance. Your spouse and family have their own ideas of what Christmas should look like. And Autism has changed that. I get it. You get it. They will eventually get it. For us it took 6 long years.
We made it and you will too.
So this year we will be going to Grandma and Grandpas and doing the rest at home.
So thankful for that.
People don’t understand the stress that goes into preparing to bring and ASD kid to a new place. From snacks, to dangers, to WiFI, to back-up electron tics we parents are more prepared than the FBI. It’s unbelievable. And exhausting.
Another big part of Christmas is presents. Getting them. Giving them. Enjoying them.
My ASD baby is so simple that he has no desire for presents. He doesn’t lack for anything. He wants to be warm. Fed. Have a sippy cup of milk. His cookies. His Kindle. His train video. WiFi. Amazon Prime. Netflix. His diaper changed. And to be naked. Which often conflicts with the warm part.
Those are his needs.
There are times when it’s almost hard to comprehend his level of innocence and lack of greed.
Still, ss I was Christmas shopping this year my guilt started to creep up. What do I get Cooper? Nothing? Will he care? Even though deep down I know how stressful it is for him to open presents. He hates being forced to do it. He hates being watching. Sitting still.
I still feel like a terrible mom. Do I get him anything? Will he be sad as Sawyer opens his presents? I know the answer. It is no. Cooper will wander around on his Kindle while we open gifts. While we eat dinner. While we socialize. That is his happy place. Why mess with it.
And he doesn’t want anything anyways. What do you buy a child whose only joy is watching train videos on a Kindle. He already has 2 of Kindles. No more.
Still, I feel bad. What I wouldn’t give to have him involved more.
So. I bought him a lava lamp for visual sensory. Then I bought a bag of balloons. I am going to fill them with flour, cornstarch, rocks, marbles…you name it. He loves to carry them around and feel them.
Then I went into my Shutterfly account and found every picture that had a train.
And I had each one developed as an 8×10. He is going to lose his mind with excitement. I can’t even tell you how much joy these pictures will bring him. I’ll try and get it on camera.
Total price for my 6 year old son’s Christmas presents: $50.00.
I would spend a million if I knew it would make him happy. He is so content and sweet that it’s easy to forget sometimes. He is happy. He doesn’t need gifts.
The only thing he needs is love.
And I guess that is the true reason for Christmas.
I also stumbled upon some of our old Christmas cards. I always put a quote on them. Here are the last couple of years:
The one on the left if from last year. Think I was sad about Cooper’s diagnosis.
“Anything can happen child. Anything can be. Never stop believing.”
God I love that quote.
The other one is:
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic, will never find it.”
And this years:
” In raising my babies I have lost my mind but found my soul.”
That is the most accurate statement every written.
Merry Christmas all!