Why don’t you celebrate New Years Eve?

I get this question a lot, because it seems very much out of the ordinary to not be up at midnight, getting drunk and kissing someone at the stroke of midnight. To not do it is… blasphemy!

The answer is really quite simple.

happy new yearI wake up at 5am many mornings, sometimes earlier, sometimes I wake up often through the night. I have 2 children that require a lot of my time and energy even when I work 8 – 10 hours a day. By the time it’s 9pm and my boys are asleep, I’m ready to go to bed myself but I can’t because there is still more work or chores around the house that need doing.

So I get to bed around 11pm and again, sleep 6 hours or less if I’m up often due to the boys… and do it all again. And I do this 356 days a year.

So already the answer is forming…. but there’s more.

My oldest boy, Cameron, has Autism. That means that we can’t just hire any teeny bopper with a need for some cell phone minute money to come in and take care of my children.

In fact, even most responsible adults are not really ready to take on that task. Only those that know him well. And those people tend to have full lives of their own already so are not readily available.

Take a special day like New Years Eve and.. well, those older, responsible, living life people are already doing something on New Years Even that doesn’t involve being stuck in my living room while some kids that are not theirs are sleeping.

So no… we don’t go out and celebrate New Years Eve. In fact, we don’t even stay up until midnight.

Because when you add it all up, when you really stop to think about it… the needs of your children, the happiness you get from their achievements, the importance of you being there for them when they need you… all of what entails being a parent…  Dec 31st becomes just another night.

You’ll still be ready for bed at 9pm that night.  The kids will still wake up early the next day.

Besides, it’s not that I don’t “celebrate” it… it’s just that I don’t do what everyone else thinks I’m supposed to do. I give my wife a hug and kiss. We say “Happy New Year” to each other and to others as well.

It’s just different and believe me, different is one thing that we’ve become quite comfortable with around here.

About Stuart Duncan

My name is Stuart Duncan, creator of http://www.stuartduncan.name. My oldest son (Cameron) has Autism while my younger son (Tyler) does not. I am a work from home web developer with a background in radio. I do my very best to stay educated and do what ever is necessary to ensure my children have the tools they need to thrive. I share my stories and experiences in an effort to further grow and strengthen the online Autism community and to promote Autism Understanding and Acceptance.

, , , ,

3 Responses to Why don’t you celebrate New Years Eve?

  1. Jeff Stimpson December 29, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Sometimes I dread NYE, tho recently Alex has been better at the party — which we had to skip many years because of his autism — especially if we give him something to do, like put glasses or tie ribbons on balloons.

  2. Connie December 29, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    We start talking about NYE right after Christmas. We don’t do much, we have managed to combine some traditions of my childhood and some of my husband’s. NYE we have a junkfood day…chips and dip, pizza and chicken fingers, soft pretzels…and play video games or watch movies (of which they usually get quite a few for Christmas). We set up “beds” on the living room floor where the boys snuggle in and stay awake until they fall alseep. (I am usually asleep before they are!) The next day, they sleep as long as they will and we have a nice steak dinner for lunch…then leftovers from the weekend for supper.

    Because we’ve talked about it for a week prior, my older two usually do pretty good with the change in routine. We try to slowly build it up to be exciting and their younger brother (who is neurotypical) helps them feel a little excitement.

    My oldest has PDD-NOS and my second born has Asperger’s. There are very few people willing to watch them, let alone that I would trust to watch them…..

  3. aspieside December 29, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    Thanks for sharing so we all know we are not the only ones!
    We used to try to go out with a grandparent watching our son but it became too much for them as they started to have their own health issues.
    A few years ago we started our own tradition similar to Connie’s 🙂
    We always get appetizers to make including chicken tenders and french fries and watch some movies. If we all stay up till midnight we watch the countdown. If we don’t make it, oh well!! It will still be the new year the next day 🙂

    Having a nice evening together as a family is way more important than a night out!
    By the way our son is 14 and has Asperger’s.

Leave a Reply