Tag Archives | holidays

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… ┬áDec 31st becomes just another night.

You’ll still be ready for bed at 9pm that night. ┬áThe 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.

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A holiday message from an Autism Father

Autism

You are reading this post, which tells me that we have something in common. Autism. Whether you have a child with Autism, you are autistic, you have a loved one with Autism or you’re simply interested in learning more about Autism (I most especially welcome the last group!)… we have that common bond. It makes us a part of a community, a supportive group, fellow advice gurus and even, if we take the chance… friends.

Rather than write an advice piece on ways to make Christmas easier or give tips on what to do and not do to avoid meltdowns (I do have one of those half written but I may just save it for next year), I thought I’d rather write about something else.

You see, whether it’s Christmas that you’re celebrating, some other holiday or the fact that it’ll be a Sunday… one common thing we all do is share with each other. We give of ourselves and share with each other and just be together, grateful for what we have and who we have with us.

And it makes me think… for those of us that have Autism in our lives, in some form or another, we have that… all year round. We don’t even know each other personally (most of us), but we have that.

I’ve learned something new from each and every person, I’ve agreed and disagreed with every single person and over the years, I’ve come to realize something important…

Epiphany

I’ve come to realize that Autism isn’t about being different, it’s about being yourself.

Whether you
have Autism (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngzyhnkT_jY),
you’re homeless (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DXL9vIUbWg),
you have no arms or legs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3LFBqvvW-M)
or if you know that you are dying (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo)
you are awesome (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vo0Cazxj_yc).

Rejoice in who you are and those you have with you. Not in how different they are, not in how similar you are… but in who you are… and who they are. They wouldn’t be who they are without you just the same as you being you because you have them in your life. And more so than that, you wish for them to be themselves, the person you like, just the same as it is their wish for you to be yourself, the person that they like.

No person is “normal” any more than they are “different”. We all are what we are and there is no comparison to be made since there is no other you.

So pay no attention to what others think of you for it is none of your business. Nor is it any of their business what you think of them so keep it to yourself, unless it’s a truly wonderful thing to share. While it should not affect how they think of themselves, it can’t hurt to receive a nice compliment.

Be yourself, not different, not the same, not what you think others wish you to be… just be you. And respect those that do the same for themselves. You don’t have to like them, but respect them for being true to themselves because that is all you would ask in return.

Being me

I write what I want to write, I say what I want to say. I choose to advocate for my son and for all of Autism as well. I choose to do my utmost best because it is who I am.

And I appreciate and celebrate each and every person that comments, likes, shares and even just reads… not because of what you think of me, but because you are you.

So what ever it is that you’re celebrating, I wish you well. I wish you happiness. I wish you all the best. Because it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do… so long as you are the best you that you can be and you do your best at what you do.

Thank you.

all I want for Christmas is you

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