Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Traditions

My son continues to have cycling moods. A lot of sadness and irritability. What seems to work is separation from stress. That means that during homework time, all the kids are downstairs and he’s hidden in my office upstairs, away from all the noise. Yesterday after school, we had to enforce a code of silence from everyone in the car (4 other kids) before he was able to get into the car himself. Even then, the slightest hum or wiggle brought tears to his eyes as he tried to hold it together.

Then last night we broke Christmas tradition by having separate “Mommy Christmas” dates. In the past, I would take all my boys on a special Christmas date that included a movie, lunch and a trip to the mall to pick out a favorite Christmas ornament to place on our tree. This ornament is very special to them, each year they hunt for them as they decorate the tree sharing memories of their special Christmas dates.

Last year was the first year that I could tell this was too much for my son. When we stopped at our local clubhouse to see santa, he refused to go into the building since there was over 30 people inside, then once he did, he took off and starting running through the parking lot with a strange energy about him, hiding under bushes until he decided to come back inside to have cookies and cocoa with us. Then at lunch, he sat there with a pained look in his eyes feeling sick to his stomach from all the anxiety he felt from the crowds. He never made it to the movies, instead he begged to go to grandma’s house where it was peaceful.

So this year, being a little wiser and understanding his limits, we planned separate dates. For the brothers we’ll continue on with our tradition, but for my oldest, we’re starting a new tradition, watching a movie together at home while cuddling and enjoying a few yummy treats. It turns out this is a win-win for everyone. Last night the brothers had a great time doing the things they like to do and my oldest is excited about our friday night date with the movie Eclipse.

Last year, I felt so sad for my son because he wasn’t able to enjoy what should’ve been a wonderful day, but I’m learning that he can still have an amazing day, it just looks a lot different than what I imagined.

As for the special Christmas ornament, it all worked out when the brothers picked out a few extra ones for their older brother to pick from. I wasn’t sure how my son was going to take it, but when I heard him say, “Thanks Mom! I’m glad you got me one, it always stressed me out trying to pick one in the store”, I knew we were on the right track.

And thus, a new tradition is born.


  1. Perfect. It's all about adaptation, and you guys are doing it brilliantly!!

  2. Wow. That made me cry. You are doing an amazing job learning his limits and adapting accordingly. Give yourself a big pat on the back from me!

  3. Semper Gumbi (always flexible) is our motto. I am so glad you are finding ways to carry on old traditions and incorporate new ones. Praying for your doctor visit this week!

  4. Thanks girls!

    Tonight is our big appointment with our new psychiatrist, I hope I don't overwhelm him with all my notes, charts and videos. I guess you can say I’m prepared to meet!

  5. How did the appointment go????