I have missed you all over the past week or so. I am not the most organized person in the world. In fact...I'm on the opposite end of that spectrum. So I have been pretty darn busy preparing for the holidays.
This year I had the added pleasure of helping my mom shop and prepare for her trip to see my brother in California. That was an interesting experience. My mother worked in retail for like 25 years. Yet, suddenly she doesn't know how to shop for herself. Thank God...she'll be there running his life for 2 weeks, and not here chiming in on every meltdown in her attempt to "help," which usually only makes matters worse.
School has been out for a week now...anxiety has risen to an all-time high. So it's just been a barrel of fun around here. I am so busy attending to the details of Christmas all while trying to prevent World War 3 right here in my own home. It's been one meltdown after the next. Thankfully, or sadly (I'm not sure) they are taking turns with their breakdowns. It almost has a kind of musicality to it. First one, then the other, over things that in the scheme of life, are not really important. They want what they want, and they want it now. Of course to them, each issue is very serious.
The thing is...the meltdown isn't really about the thing they are yelling about. It's about the floating schedule, the unpredictability of each day, the change from the tight schedule of school to the loose schedule of vacation, the anxiety over all of the possibilities of Christmas and what they will be getting. And this year there are no trips scheduled. Trips, are usually an added source of stress. Who knew having no trips is ALSO an added source of stress. Talk about irony!
Red -the 16 year-old is consistently bored...though he's enjoying the benefit of our new television and Blue-Ray player. He doesn't reach out to any friends to get together, but he is bitching and moaning because he's bored. "Everyday is the same he says." Wait a minute...shouldn't that be a good thing?
"Are you in school?"
"Do you get to sleep in?"
"Do you get to relax and watch movies on our brand new television?"
"Have you gone out to eat a few times?"
"Christmas is around the corner and you have gifts to look forward to right?"
"Then it sounds to me that you have a few things to be grateful for. Now if you choose not to realize that. That's a choice."
Blue is on the edge because of the change in schedule, and the anxiety over his Christmas list, which he continues to revise every, single, day! He finds these inadvertent things that he needs me to help him with "RIGHT AWAY", when I'm on my way out the door to shop, or finally relaxing after a long day of his brother's meltdowns. Last night, he actually threatened to run-away. He says, "I'd rather be homeless than live with this unhappy family!" Such lovely words to hear from your child 2 days before Christmas. I went to bed feeling very sad and very exhausted.
I have decided to cancel Christmas for next year. At least...I am canceling the way we did it this year. There will be no freakin' surprises. They will name 3 gifts, within a budget. If 1 of your gifts is large, that takes up your entire budget. That's it! Jesus got 3 gifts. He didn't complain that they were too small, not the latest version or what everyone else has.
I would really like to replace Christmas with a vacation on the beach somewhere...just chillin. In truth, that would probably cause more meltdowns than it's worth.
On Twitter the autism community has been posting these comments with the hashtag #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf. One of my post was #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf...you're trying to figure out how NOT to have so much family togetherness for the holidays.
Well...Cheers to Christmas day my peeps! I hope that you and your family can enjoy the true reason for the season.
Let's hope it starts looking up from here. If not, I have plenty of wine, Baileys, and spiked Egg Nog.
After all, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!" As the song says.