Some people have told me that I invest a great deal of time helping my family grow and gain experience;
Maybe, but it seldom feels like it. Mostly it just feels like trying to keep living and moving thru being a Mom to some awesome kids who have some fairly large hurdles in this life. In fact, this year has been more intense than most, moving thru house remodeling, and
going from one to two Service Missionaries! Then it got even more harried with all the extra concert performances that my youngest’s orchestra managed to add for the holiday season. But, sometimes the moments of tiny miracles seemed to fall into place so obviously that it becomes a season of joy.
This year, My Tea Rose and I found out about a Christmas Card Art contest for Artists with Autism- and she decided that it would be a fun thing to try. Lo and Behold, she was one of the Artists selected! How cool is that?! The excitement level was too high to even stim–almost too high to breath! It was a great start to the Holidays.
So, a moment of backstory–
My kids were all born in Utah, and have fond childhood memories of the snow and cousins. About once every two or three years I find myself agreeing with their need to go visit snow and family. This year it was time. So the planning began. And it’s serious planning… just jumping in the car for a spur of the moment adventure longer than a few hours is NOT something that is easily or lightly done with 5 on the Autism spectrum. Loose ends are not often little things. But even tho’ my schedule has not been easy or sane- – still, everything I needed to do kept falling into place better than usual. I am positive that the Lord had a mighty hand in that.
So – as I sit in my Mom’s kitchen with only the night light on- I needed to jot down a few notes of my Christmas so far.
Last Saturday- Oldest- “Mom, let’s just not do Christmas this year, I’m not ready and I’m just not feeling it.” Me- “It’s not. about. you. The other kids don’t need a gift from you, they just want to share their Christmas with you.” I left it there for the time being.
So, skip to Sunday- Christmas Eve morning- Getting ready for Church while packing for a trip. I wouldn’t recommend it, but on the other hand, it wasn’t any more stressful than any other Sunday at our house, which was kind of amazing. The meeting was more awesome than great! Kydee kept breathing and praying, and managed to find the courage to get up with the youth choir with her violin- she was accompanying their singing- And she did it! Yes she played well, but for her and I, the biggest miracle was facing up to her social anxiety (she inherited way too much from me, I’m afraid) and when she sat down with me, afterward, we were both feeling very supported by the Lord. 🙂 Then TeaRose managed to face her stress over new things and came up with me and hubby with the Adult choir’s turn. Way good stuff!
Sunday afternoon we had Christmas. It was actually a huge “Santa” score; but the best part for me was afterwards; when my oldest comes to me and said. “I tried to keep my attitude good for all the kids. You really scored great with the gifts this year, and next year I will score with the atmosphere of the Christmas season.” Most Amazing Mom moment.
So, then it was time to pack the van. Brand and Hubby were amazing troupers, but even with a record pack time, I still didn’t manage to get fast enough to leave that evening- I needed a final night’s sleep. But by 7 am on Christmas morning we were all in the van- prayers for the trip said- and off! By the way- if you ever want to see city freeways nearly empty, early
Christmas morning is the time to do it. 🙂 The trip was long as usual, and full of it’s normal numbers of Migraines and stresses, but not many meltdowns. They have traveled this path many times. In fact I didn’t even need to provide a packing list this year, a milestone of growth.
Monday, at bedtime- TeaRose- “Mom I am feeling so much anxiety and I don’t even know why!” Me- “Well, it’s a long drive, a different schedule a new house a new place to sleep”. T-It’s not new, I like being here with our cousins.” Kydee- “Just a schedule change up.” T- “Do you think it’s my Autism’s fault then?” Me- “Probably.” T- “Stupid Autism.” Yup.
But perhaps hard is where we grow most. I think so. I can almost taste whole stories waiting somewhere in my head, to be told about the power and glory to be found in pain and trials. But for now, all I can say is that as hard as it has been, this year has also really has been a season of growth and maturity. It’s all good. Merry Christmas.