The holidays can be a time of great stress for anyone, which is a shame, but it tends to be espically true for families whose kids have sensory issues. While Darling may have had a meltdown or two with “too much Christmas” syndrome, our holidays really were quite lovely this year. At least in my mind…
At our Christmas with my parents and brother’s family, I thought things were going great. All the kids were happy and watching videos from Christmas past was so fun! I noticed my husband looking very sad, though. When I questioned him, he admitted he was sad about Bud. It’s funny when the waves of grief hit. It is different for each of us and can come out of nowhere.
Bud was happy. He was sitting in a corner by the front door, near us but away from the group. He was throwing a ball and watching it bounce against the wall back to him, then repeat (over and over and over). Essentially, he was playing catch with himself. Hubby felt sad because while we were all together and connecting, he was off on his own in his own little world. Hubby then asked, “Is this how he is always going to be?”
I don’t know how Bud will be in the future. Believe me, if there was ever a time when I wished for a magic ball to see the future, this would be it. I hugged him and reminded him that Bud has made a ton of progress in the last 6 months, and more progress is on the horizon. My Mom reminded us that last year, Bud was afraid of people, and this year he was happy. None of this helped Dad feel better. When the wave of sadness hits you, you just have to ride it out.
On a related note, I notice that at home, Bud interacts a lot more. I am not sure if it is truly a lot, or just seems a lot compared to how little he used to interact. He likes to put a blanket over his head so he cannot see, stick his arms out, and run into us and fall down. He will go back and forth between me and Dad. He will look into my eyes, he will laugh. He laughs a lot actually, especially for a boy who didn’t even smile for so long.
When out, he does tend to retreat to his own world more often, or pace, or get into other stimming type behaviors. I am beginning to think that this is his way to deal. To deal with the noises, the people, the uncertainty, the overload. I am glad he is not terrified and able to be out and around people, but I do want to work on this and help him interact more with people besides mom, dad, sis, and his grandparents or therapists. Other people just do not know what to do I think. He does not naturally run up to you or want to play catch like typical 2 year old boys. But, if they were to get down on his level and engage him in an activity he enjoys, he would likely respond. This is one of my goals for the new year, help Bud and those in his life learn how to connect with each other. Help Bud interact with people in general when out of the house.
I am sorry Dad was sad this Christmas, but the silver lining is that it gave me insights into areas we can approve upon in order to give Bud the brightest future possible. A lot of negative things could have happened this Christmas, but they didn’t. We enjoyed each others company. Darling still believes in Santa (or is pretending to). Bud helped tear open some of his presents (so what if preferred playing with my parents giant Tupperware container filled with dog food). We were together and surrounded in love. To me, it was one of the good years, and I pray there will be many more to come.