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Christmas Eve on the Island of Misfit Toys

While my posts here are no doubt mostly pretty self-indulgent, I’m going to make this one even more so, on account of this being Christmas Eve and all. While special needs issues don’t exactly go away during this time of year, they do sometimes tend to take a back seat, as much as they can. For us, it means that school is out, so the mean girls and good kids alike are off in their own homes. While Schuyler’s monster is as omnipresent as ever, it’s a little easier to pretend it’s actually the Grinch or the Bumble or whatever. “Hey, Polly, if you’re going to lurk around all day, would you mind holding up these lights?”

It’s been a little over a year since I began posting regularly here at Support for Special Needs, and I have to say, it’s been a real pleasure doing so. I’ve met some amazing people and I’ve thought about this life as a disability parent with perhaps a little more focus than I might have otherwise. I’ve enjoyed writing here, and I hope I continue to have the opportunity to do so as we move into a new year.

Christmas holds such a central place in this country, both as an industry and a cultural phenomenon, even aside from the religious elements. And yet, it is also such a deeply personal time of year, and sometimes I think that might be a little more true of families of disability families. If for the rest of the year you feel isolated as a person with a disability, or alone and unsupported as a parent or family member, then I suspect it’s safe to say that you probably feel that much more keenly during the holidays. I’d be lying if I said my family doesn’t experience that sense here during the holidays. This is when it stings the most, I think.

It can be a lonely and difficult time of the year for families like ours, but I think one of the joys of a site like this one is that it can help banish some of the winter dark and the sense of standing aside while the rest of the world experiences a kind of joyful family narrative that doesn’t quite fit ours. If you’re reading this, I hope you feel like this is YOUR community, and your candle is one of many lighting the night.

No matter what your faith or your approach to the holidays, if any, it is nevertheless my wish for you that you find happiness and support within your own tribe. If that tribe happens to live on the Internet, then I’m deeply proud and humbled that I could be a part of that.

Thank you for reading. It means the whole world to me.

Robert Rummel-Hudson
Christmas Eve, 2012

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