On top of the dirty laundry basket I carried were shoes to go in the shoe bin, clean towels to go into the towel drawer and a kindle to go to the charging station when I saw the mess and dropped the basket on the floor.
Right in front of the Christmas tree, there it was AGAIN. My shoulders sagged, my body slumped. I let out a deep sigh.
There it was. The pile of ripped up paper with little blue dots on it.
I knew exactly what happened.
I took a deep breath, and I smiled.
Tis the Season!
We are in pre-season Christmas bliss.
When we decorated with lights outside, Declan bounced, begging for lights to decorate his room, too. Icicle strands were then gathered to put around the top bunk and hang onto Declan’s bottom bunk bed. At night when the lights shine, they shine on a small child with a large Christmas smile.
A few cookies have been made. And although you and I may call them Gingerbread cookies, Declan squeaks with excitement about the beautiful “Ninjabread” cookies and their scent that fills the air.
Boxes and boxes are arriving at our door from online ordering and are quickly hidden. Until an excited impulsive little boy just couldn’t wait to see what was inside. And came crashing through the kitchen door with his “big” Christmas gift he just opened.
A new hiding place for boxes has been found.
Rudolph, Jingle Bells, toy commercials and lines from the Grinch are all on constant repeat.
My computer paper disappears regularly along with the tape. The paper is decorated with dots and then wrapped around small items, toys and flashlights. Then Declan will play “Christmas morning” and open the items in front of the Christmas tree. He will scream with excitement and joy with each item he unwraps.
And leave a pile of shredded paper for me to clean up.
I love Christmas.
On a scale of 1-10, I am at a 10. Declan? Well, he is easily at a million on the same scale.
Declan wants to eat, sleep, smell, touch and feel every ounce of Christmas in every moment. There is no time to use the potty. A direction to “Potty Time” is met with screams, mean words and tears, all in protest. He cannot focus on the potty. Meltdowns are frequent. He is a live wire when taken into a social situation and explodes easily. This is not a time for Declan to sleep through the night. He is too excited to sleep.
Declan LOVES Christmas!
The mom in me gets frustrated. The mom in me wants to surprise Declan with a big Christmas gift from Santa. The mom in me wants him to keep trying to use the potty. The mom in me is tired of cleaning up paper on the floor. The person in me WANTS TO SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT.
And so when I walk into the room and see a large mess ahead of me, the mom in me gets frustrated.
But then the autism mom in me appears. She knows Declan will love his big Christmas gift. She knows that diapers will not be around forever. She knows now is a time for calming activities and sleep will eventually come.
Most of all, she knows that Declan is not trying to be bad.
So, I take a step back and look at the mess through my autism mom eyes. I don’t see a messy pile of paper with little blue dots. I see a lot of love and excitement from one little boy.
And I smile.
It’s Christmas Season!