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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Silver Bells and Holiday Memories

Hi kids, still lurking on this blog?

Well I am still kicking, I have just been enjoying my break. However I am sure you all want to know how my holiday is going and what I have been up to (not really I am sure), so here is a short essay on holidays memories and recalling details.


Routine has been the soft fluffy blanket in my life (like the one on my lap) and one that I have hard time getting rid off (kinda like Linus with his). I like structure, simple patterns and things I can remember and organize easily. This is probably why I love the holidays. For some autists, it's chaotic and noise and bundle of sensory issues. But for me, it's a routine I can rely and remember and recall.

except for this year.

This year, is the first where I wasn't with my mom or my dad. I didn't thunder downstairs (or upstairs) to open presents. There was no holiday get together, no collective of relatives to play Taboo with. I was with Josh and his family and for some reason, I started crying on Christmas Eve about it. I was homesick, which is unheard of for me. I never get homesick and I like adventures and trying new things (occasionally when my anxiety doesn't blindside me)and this was planned back in November so this wasn't a "Sudden Change", but simply something that just occurred to me.

This is not my holiday routine.

Just for the record, I did have a marvelous Christmas with Josh's folks who treated me like I was their son, gave me wonderful presents and had a superb holiday dinner. Just to abate any fears that Christmas was terrible (because it wasn't). I will also get gifts and (give my own) to my family later after New Years. So it wasn't like I wasn't going to spend a mini-Xmas with my mom and step-dad.

Still the routine wasn't like last year, or the year before and these holiday memories didn't match or echo to ones before. The thing I like about Yule and the other winter holidays. Is the fact I can recall past experiences and go "oh yeah this is what is going to happen next", I have a library of memories than I can actually go back to to predict the next events in Winter Break, Christmas and New Years. For instance, here is what happened years back and what usually happens every year.

-I go see my mom
-I get gifts
-There is dinner at her place or at Aunt Lynn's
-Coffee and desert followed by family games.
-Go home with loot

This year was:
-Go Josh's apartment
-Hang out with him all break
-Go to his parents
-get gifts
-watch movie
-eat food
-go home

What really threw me off was the fact there wasn't a huge party of family. I wasn't playing Taboo or Apples to Apples and watching my family laugh recall memories and enjoy the peace of being with a clan.

I think that is what the crux of the essay is. I miss being with something so routine and familiar and comforting. my family both the Hannah (my mom's family) and Kramer (dad's family) I miss being with the sea of faces noise and happiness of the chaos that comes with it. It's only time when I feel happy being overloaded with noise, smell and people. For the rest of the year I am pretty much with just dad and myself. Routine and the daily grind doesn't have the right kind of overload (just the wrong) and I am stuck in a system of being underwhelmed and bored.

However while I love Josh and his family and I feel so blessed to be included. There is something to be said about missing and longing the faces you know and remember.

For an autist, family is the only thing we have (for some at least, not all) that is unyielding and unchanging. It's the only comfort we have that we can trust and while my dad has his moments when I want to scream, and my mom has her's when I want to sigh. I love them and I feel like something is missing when I can't spend the holidays with my mom.