It's been a rough couple of weeks here on the Crazy Train, which I realize is no way to begin a Christmas holiday post, but it's true.
The holiday hubbub makes it hard for my darlings to deal with regular, everyday stuff, as was evidenced in Princess's school behavior two weeks ago (which will get it's own post, I am sure). It made for a terrible week full of disciplinary action plans, visits to the principal, and tears. I was sure the week couldn't get any worse until the tragedy in Connecticut occurred.
The Sandy Hook tragedy has left people across the nation mourning the loss of 27 human lives, most of which were too young to even comprehend. On top of that unfathomable loss, the media managed to use this awful event to vilify Asperger's syndrome as well. That unfortunate side effect has left parents like me-- parents of children on the autism spectrum-- doubly reeling with sadness and outrage, as we are left to defend our children and loved ones from the ignorant hate-mongering that abounds on social media and the news right now.
Add to all this stress two children with the flu and one mommy with a very high fever, a massive sinus infection, and what sounds like an emphysemic cough, and you can see why this Christmas season has been a little lackluster for me.
A funny thing has happened, though...
I've found myself getting into the Christmas spirit anyway.
It started with Secret Santa at work. I was assigned to give gifts to the very person that broke the news about Sandy Hook to me, and she told me with tears in her eyes. I was desperate to make her final week at school before the holiday break a happy one, and having that purpose made my week happier, too! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my coworkers (and their devious ways) this Christmas, and secretly making someone's day each morning with a little surprise was almost as fun as receiving my own daily surprise.
The Christmas Spirit continued to swell in me when I happened upon Autism Shines. What an amazing response to the vilification of autism this site is! My bloggy friend Lexi (author of Mostly True Stuff) and some other autism parents put together this wonderful Facebook page, where parents of children on the spectrum and spectrum-y adults alike can share what autism really looks like. The pictures bring joy to my heart, and soothe the raw edges left by all the hate and misinformation I have seen over the last week. Once again, my tears related to autism are tears of joy thanks to the positive spirit of this page!
|My contribution to Autism Shines|
The final bit of magic-- the bit that truly got me into the Christmas spirit-- happened today. My family and I went out this morning to run an errand, and while we were out it began to snow. Big, fluffy, happy snowflakes came pouring out of the sky, and are still falling as I write. The snow itself wasn't the magic, though. The effect the snow had on everyone around me was. I heard three different people singing aloud on the sidewalk in front of the shopping center. I heard children and parents alike squealing with delight as they ran through the parking lot to their cars. I watched Princess catch snowflakes on her tongue with no regard to the fact that she was getting cold and wet. I had six complete strangers look me in the eye, smile, and wish me Merry Christmas, or comment on the beauty of the day. And I heard lots and lots of laughter. I feel like a kid again!
I hope that this holiday season, no matter what you are celebrating, you take time to slow down and look at what is right before your eyes-- your family and friends. Hug your loved ones, smile at your neighbors, appreciate what and who you have in your life, and help someone less fortunate than you. Whether or not the world is a happy place is up to us, Trainees! Happiness is a decision we make. If we can share our own happiness-- our personal magic-- with others, friends and strangers alike, then I don't see how we can possibly go wrong.
Merry Christmas and lots of love from the Crazy Train!