It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

by arianne

The Worst:

1. We are extremely happy that Christmas is over. The last two days were some of the hardest yet for us as parents of a special needs child. When you are a kid Christmas is supposed to be something you look forward to all year… endless presents, loads of baked goodies, making fun of what “Santa” put in your stocking (gummy breakfast items! nothing better than a gummy fried egg to go along with your gummy sausage link!), you name it.

For Charlie, Christmas is quite different. Long story short, he wasn’t present at any of our celebratory events. A different Child came in his place. One who doesn’t talk or smile, can only offer a blank stare (or a pained look as he cries or tantrums). One who won’t look at you and refuses to be in any pictures, wear any clothes or let you comb his hair. One who cries when the whole group laughs at the same time, screaming “No No No!” because its just so loud and scary to him. One who gets extremely over-stimulated by simply opening presents, but wants to open every present in the room (his and others’) obsessively until every present is unwrapped, so don’t even think about suggesting anything otherwise. This Child can’t enjoy Christmas. Its just too much.

Thankfully, as of tonight, the fog is lifting and Charlie is slowly coming back. The other Child is retreating back into his dark corner inside the heart of gold that is Charlie. My son is laughing again, interacting with us and talking. You never realize how natural it is for children to talk, laugh and smile all the time-until they don’t. It was a hard Christmas for us, but we are hopeful Christmas will get better from here on out. Charlie’s different therapies will be starting up in the next few weeks, and all the “professionals” are optimistic. So, we are too.

2. I wanted to write a meaningful Christmas post all about why this time of year is so precious to me, to my soul. As you can tell, THAT never happened. Thanks to a certain kid, said deep and profoundly meaningful post didn’t get done, along with about 345,679 other things I needed to do but had to “let go”.

3. To top it all off, our Christmas tree was totally dead by the time Christmas Day rolled around. Oy with the poodles already! We are just going to wait until all the ornaments fall on the floor, instead of taking them off ourselves. Half way there, we’re making great time.

The Best:

1. And this is really THE BEST. I became an aunt! After 48 hours of labor (with no drugs!), my poor sister in law finally gave birth to our new nephew on Christmas Day. His name is Chaz and he looks like his daddy. We live in the Los Angeles area and they live in Manhattan so, as you can imagine, we are missing them (but not the snow they are getting) and are so thrilled everything went well. I couldn’t sleep for the two nights she was in labor, so GEEZ I need sleep. Chaz slept for 7 hours his first night of life. Let the fact that life is totally unfair commence to start.

2. I made cinnamon rolls and mimosas for Christmas brunch. Like YUM.

3. Monkeys are leaving comments on my blog. I’m so popular!

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