It was the great pause; the breath between preparation and the excitement. I sat next to my Christmas tree, listening to all my kids and hubby play a little board game before it’s time to shoo them off to bed. I can hear that they’re getting tired; but they are still all trying to be pleasant and work together for fun.
It’s beautiful sight in the world. And it gave me time.
Time. It’s my most treasured gift. The gift of no place I have to be, no schedule I need to keep, no needs or demands from anyone at all. Along with the clear head to think and ponder- both things together.. It’s very rare.
Earlier this month, I wouldn’t have believed any such spare moment would happen. I would see the treat-gifts come to the door, and the cards and letters from the neighbors and friends, and think- “yeah, as if I could manage something like that.”
Suddenly things moved, and I had a spare moment to do my yearly ornament and letter for our close family. Later, on Thursday I found myself totally done shopping! The peace hit me like a thunderclap. Like magic, I had a whole day Friday to clean and work on what I whatever I wanted to. It was a gift from Heaven— and I decided that I had time to make Christmas cookies after all. I still tire easily, but it was so good. On Christmas Eve, it rained almost all day. But it stopped just as Hubby took our Brand to the Mesa Temple-it was Brand’s YSA (young single adult) ward’s turn to help with the tour/crowd control there for the Christmas lights. Meanwhile, I took the 3 teens and we went delivering the cookie trays. Don’t make the mistake of thinking I pulled this off without any meltdowns or other Autism moments– the full gammut of triggers= anticipation, starting to go to the wrong door (and having to run back to the car and try again), relief, seeing happy faces as we gave the cookies, getting on each other’s nerves, tears, and recovery; TeaRose said it best- “Mom, there’s so many emotions going around in my head so fast that it gets my autism overwhelmed and I go blank and can’t feel anything at all” (yup- she really did say that, we have been working being able to express needs.) So we reviewed our grounding steps to recover from overload, and then kept going. I’m so glad. The spirit of giving seeped into my car in spite of everything, so that by the time we got home it was very good. That brings this story back to where I started, under the Christmas tree. Then it was time to play Santa.
Santa got really lucky this year. Lots of tactile pleasures (fuzzy blankets and sequinned pillows were half the hit of the morning) and lots of happy smiles. Now, they are all playing with their new gear, in that near total quiet that my spectrum kids get when they have been running on adrenaline to be happy in the chaos for a couple days- and they are still happy, just tired. Time is still rare- it took 2 separate spaces of time just to write this post. But for now, I have time to sit and think- What a great Christmas gift that is.
So- Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
ps- here’s where I found the cookie recipes;