Monday, December 17, 2007

Grace: the word to remember for the holidays

Grace is the word I try to live by, but it is not always easy to do during the holidays. Anyway, I created a poem to illustrate to you what I think grace means in terms of human behavior.

Gratitude
Respect
Attractiveness
Caring
Exceptional (good) manners


Today I am writing this post as a reminder to myself to be Graceful. As a parent of two children (one on the autism spectrum, one not) who also needs to recognize about six birthdays as well as my own anniversary, I really need the reminder. Throw in the fact that my family needs to travel three to four hours to spend time with relatives and that my father remarried a nice lady (after my mom died) who happens to have had six children (fifty or more people want to spend the holiday with the couple), and you get one stressed out lady. Usually, once during each holiday season, I end up misbaving because of the stress. Last year, I managed not to say things I later regretted. But this year, I already became tearful and had words with someone. It's a situation I'm not going to elaborate on because I do not wish to reenact the interaction.

Sometimes, as us autism parents know, when one gets stressed, one melts down. My guy with autism loves the holidays and looks forward to them. He enjoys spending time with grandparents, cousins, etc. We are quite fortunate that his behavior during this time is really quite remarkable. (Note, although generally well-behaved during the holidays, he does get overwhelmed and we often have to remove him from a over stimulating environment). My behavior during the holidays is sometimes remarkable too, just in an unfortunate and different way. I forgive myself for what I already did, but am going to try to behave for the rest of the season.

4 comments:

Casdok said...

Good luck with your Grace!!!
I find christmas the most stressful time of year, mainly because my son does. But we somehow manage to get through it!

J said...

Thank you for your encouragement. Christmas is supposed to be a time of reflection and perhaps enjoyment. But, as you and I both know, it's also about endurance and having the strength to make it through about a months worth of festivities, social obligations and preparations.

I hope I remember my special word and this post when with extended family members. I have been so busy and preoccupied that I've done silly things like lock myself out of the house.

kristi said...

Hi! I just found your blog. Yes, I tend to have my meltdowns too and I am not the one with autism, my son is.

J said...

I guess we can blame it on stress. As blessed as we are, it isn't always easy to raise a special needs child and maneuver gracefully around family politics at the same time. Thanks for commenting.