Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Dear Noah:

So the holidays are fast approaching! We get excited but then there are always issues to deal with. You do well for the most part now during holidays...but you still get easily overwhelmed and cannot handle large crowds, commotion and noise. You seem to do well around my extended family but they all live 1200 miles away so we don't always see them for the holidays. Daddy's extended family we see a few times a year IF.

So the holidays are coming up and Daddy is already talking about having everyone over. Said he would prefer NOT having everyone over at one time. Well that is good and bad. Good because we only live in a 936 sq. foot condo and there is not a lot of space and this causes even more commotion and chaos for your senses to deal with. BAD because it means we may have to have like 3 NIGHTS of not-so-holiday bliss with extended family members. We usually get through it all okay. In fact most times it turns out much better than anticipated. BUT it takes its toll on you. I think it does anyone but if you have autism it is much more difficult. While you enjoy having company you still cannot always handle social situations well. So we are constantly on guard.....making sure you don't do something you shouldn't. Making sure you have a good time. Making sure other kids don't do something to set you off. It's like walking on eggshells constantly. Personally I don't mind skipping it or meeting in a NEUTRAL safe zone. Somewhere OTHER than our home. BUT that will not be the case. We tried that once however at a local McDonalds and that turned out even worse than staying here to exchange presents as the chaos was incredible!

I don't think extended family members really understand what it is or can be like for you in your world. AND when holidays roll around they will just be thinking about that..."wonder what I got?". Maybe I make too much of a deal about it all. Does anyone else out there have issues at the holidays?

Of course even taking you Noah to a safe zone ...a neutral place to meet with other family members.....sometimes is a bit much. You are doing much better and like I said you handle my side of the family well. I think you have a harder time with Daddy's side as they are very loud! And a bit rough...at least the little kids. So it can set you off easier. They all sit around looking dumfounded and truly believe (I THINK) that we are creating a social misfit in you by not allowing you to do some things we KNOW would set you off. They don't understand how we try so hard to create the perfect environment for you so you can spend your time and energy learning and growing and developing! They really don't have a clue. And again I am talking about Daddy's family as my family seems to know a bit more and seem to try to understand things better.

So while we love this time of year the most....it almost can fill me with a sense of dread....as we will have to make arrangements to get together with everyone and exchange presents. Like I said...it can be a fun time but overwhelming time. AND it seems we never see any of Daddy's other kids till another holiday or birthday rolls around. I know it sounds like I have a bad attitude. I know we should all get together regardless. While I know these things it still does not make it any easier to WANT to get together with them. There is always unease. Daddy never knows even how to talk to his kids. They don't know what to say to him. It is exchange presents, and leave. Which I guess is fine as that means they are not here that long. BUT like I said it usually goes much better than planned anyway...and you have a good time. (still trying to convince myself I guess). I don't want to be the WICKED stepmother!! AND it sounds like I am. BUT it is because of YOU I worry and try to avoid certain things. I am not blaming you....don't get me wrong. BUT I have to think about what is best for you. AND sometimes I think doing Christmas when it is convenient only for everyone else is not the best idea for you!

This year I have told Daddy the ONLY way we will do it is make a Christmas Open House. We will pick the date and set a time limit. ANYONE who wants to come by can. IF they cannot come by they will have to arrange to come by on their own accord. I am tired of making arrangements to get together only when it is convenient for them. Tired of having 3 get togethers cause someone else has to work! Well I have to work all the time too but I make time.

See..bad attitude rearing its ugly head again.

Tis the Season to be Jolly!



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