Today we had Christmas for my side of the family. We only had to drive two hours this time so that was nice. However, my son with autism spent most of the time in the basement. Everytime he came upstairs where everyone else was he would put his fingers in his ears. There was twelve other people in a nice-sized space and we were not that noisy.
I guess after four days on the road and lots of schedule differences, he was feeling more sensitive to sound than usual. He ate his meal downstairs by himself, but was delighted when the family decided to go downstairs to watch him open his presents. In the meantime, he'd watch the t.v. down there while bouncing around on a big exercise ball. My husband and I would check on him from time to time.
My little guy did o.k. He loved all the attention he received from being the youngest person there. He ate dinner with the rest of us, played with his new toys, and hung out with the rest of the family. My husband played and lost Monopoly while I just chatted with family members.
To his credit my nine year old showed a lot of patience. A few years ago he would have melted down and my husband and I would have had to take turns staying downstairs with him. I'm hoping that when he is a teenager he'll be able to stay with the crowd, using head phones or some other coping mechanism. But for now, finding peace in the basement is ok with us. He seemed to have stayed out of trouble.
At the moment, he's excited because my sister made up a bed for him and his brother down in the basement. She put a big air mattress on the floor. They are loving it. My husband and I will probably sleep in a nearby room.
I'll be glad to be home tomorrow, although I'll have to go back to cooking and cleaning again. Ugh. Maybe, though, I'll be able to have another pajama morning on Monday or Tuesday.