Journey of a Mom of two amazing children on the spectrum
Thursday, 2 January 2014
Our Christmas was Just "Beachy"
Once again I find myself saying, it’s been awhile.It’s been a crazy, lovely holiday season, and when I woke up on New Year’s Day, I thought, “whew, we made it”.Intact.
We went to the Outer Banks in North Carolina again this year.We are lucky enough to be able to go stay there, and it is a great time of year to go if you want to avoid the sensory overload that beach season can bring.I mean, Hatteras Island is all but deserted this time of year, there are a few families who come down for the holiday, and the local residents, but it is quiet with a capital Q.In fact until the last week before the holiday we didn’t even know if we could make it down to the house as one of the main bridges was closed.It reopened in time, thank goodness.
Packing for the trip is pretty involved, and would be even without worrying about Christmas gifts, a small, tree, Christmas crafts, etc.Two kids with special diets and only one small grocery store on the island can kinda lead to some challenges.We have discovered that there is a Harris Teeter a little further up in the Outer Banks and actually ordered a Christmas dinner from them this year- that cut down on the scavenging quite a bit. That being said, we took a huge cooler full down with us, mostly of the kids’ food.And coffee creamer- the important stuff- of course in my hurry, I forgot the COFFEE.Oh.My.God.I got the look of death from John on the first morning when it hit us that we had zero caffeine.I found coffee- quickly.Good thing because Jack was up by 5:30 every day of the trip.
This time over the holiday has become sacred to our family.There is no therapy, there are no appointments, or assessments.There is just family time.Time to do “those things”, you know, the ones you always mean to do, but find yourself too busy to get to.Like building a gingerbread house and taking the time to let your child with major fine motor issues place each of the candy balls wherever he wants it.(once again, NEED COFFEE).I mean the candy balls that don’t accidentally fall into his mouth of course.Or write that letter to Santa with no rush so thatJack can take his time and actually do most of the writing.Just typical mom/kid stuff, stuff that we sometimes miss out on due to the pace we try to maintain on a day to day basis.
The first two days we were at the beach it was freakishly warm.Mid-70’s in December!Jack was wading in the water and eventually I got tired of rolling his pant legs up and let him run around in his underwear.He laid down in the sand and made “crustacean angels”, sea turtle mounds, and at one point we looked over and he had written his name in the sand without us prompting or even suggesting he do it.AHHHHHHH!!!! That was awesome!
While it was still toasty we took the ferry to Ocracoke, a little island at the end of Hatteras.It was a pretty ride, and I am really glad we did it then, because it already felt pretty cold.Unfortunately, Nathan gleefully threw his cup into the ocean (because that’s what he does) and Jack had a meltdown of massive proportions.I was literally afraid he was going to throw himself overboard- he still mentions this incident from time to time, he is incredibly worried about where the cup is, who drank the juice, if Nate will ever see it again….we gave the people on the ferry a little autism education that day.We caught bunches of stares while he was screaming, but I find that I am not embarrassed these days, it ticks me off.I want to yell, you come do it, let me know how it works out for you!It doesn’t take a genius to realize that while this boy was yes, freaking out, he wasn’t throwing a tantrum, he wasn’t begging for something, he wasn’t being naughty, he was worried about his brother’s cup and it was causing him a great deal of anxiety.Not. His. Fault.And not ours either.
Anyhoo, we also hit the Wright Brother’s memorial again this year, as it is one of Jack’s favorite things to do.He did so well at the museum, as did Nate.There was even a bit of brotherly interaction, which we are seeing more and more lately it seems.Nate is more receptive to Jack’s advances, and it makes Jack so happy.
In terms of Christmas itself, it was nice.I missed my parents and my sister, who live near enough these days that I can actually see them.In other words, I am starting to feel like I may be ready to stay home for the holidays at some point.We shall see.Jack was thrilled with his gifts- especially his stuffed colossal squid, and Nathan was annoyed that we woke him up early.He did eventually open a few gifts, and even played with some of them, which was really exciting for me and John.
All in all, it was a great holiday.We spent time with our families the weekend that we got back and I was surprised (read:shocked!!!!amazed!!!!) to find that my mom had painted our master bedroom secretly while we were gone.We had talked about doing it together this spring, but she managed to find out the color I wanted by sending my baby sister as a spy, and she just ….painted it!How awesome is that!And what a nice thing to come home to!I will have another, not so happy post in a day or two, but I need to cool off first.Here, let me give you a hint…..insurance, and also….Jack’s study.Let your imagination run wild J And another post....about Nate, and saying bye bye, and night night, and no no to Jack....yep it's been awhile. Sorry about that.