Well, it’s Christmas Eve Eve, if you’re of the seasonal variety. Monday, I guess, if you’re not. But even if you don’t officially celebrate some kind of holiday this time of year, you probably can’t help but be immersed in it. It’s unavoidable in our society. Unavoidable, and honestly, not so bad.
There are worst things to ponder than peace on earth, etc.
As parents of children with disabilities, sometimes those glad tidings can be harder to see. Our kids’ bodies and minds don’t observe the holidays, and honestly, for a lot of them, it’s a particularly stressful time. Routines are upended, social walls close in, family is suddenly around saying… family things, the kind that leave everyone smacking their foreheads. The holidays can be tough for the most typical of families.
And that’s not us.
At this time of year, it’s easy for families in the world of disability to feel separate somehow. Our stories don’t quite fit. Our celebrations can be loud, our routines can be easily shattered and pieced back together seemingly at random. And if we already feel isolated and alone during the rest of the year, we especially get the sense that we’re all standing on the outside looking in at Christmas time.
I mentioned this last year, but one of the things I value the most about a site like this one is how we can come here and be weird. We can find others whose holidays are as atypical as our own, and other families whose traditions are as driven by circumstance as ours. We know the obstacles, and we know how much work has gone in and how much is still waiting in the future. And we understand, in ways we can’t describe to typical families but don’t need to describe to each other, how deeply satisfying the love we work for and nurture really can be. It’s a hard love, and it’s the very best love.
And if we can’t talk about that during the holiday season, then when can we?
It is my most sincere hope that you and the people you care for and care about have a season full of love and comfort. And I hope that the New Year brings success of every variety. As always, thank you so much for reading my stuff. It matters to me a very great deal that you do.
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