I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas, we had a great time but it also kind of bitter sweet and put a few things into perspective for us as a family, especially around Archie’s suspected Autism.
Brandon is a teenager now and has kind of lost the excitement for Christmas, he only wants money or clothes but seeing the look on his face when he unwrapped his new Nike tracksuit was still priceless. He’ll always be my boy even if he did get an electric shaver for Christmas! I don’t have a single photo of him opening his presents this year, he just wouldn’t let me get a camera any where near him but mum always stores mental images of her babies and even a teenager can’t put a stop to that 😉
Archie struggled this Christmas, it was very overwhelming for him, more so than we’d anticipated. He just wasn’t interested in opening his presents, he was happy to just open one then go off and play with it, the rest just didn’t matter. At first I kind of felt that I’d been robbed of the Christmas I’d expected. At two years old most toddlers are talking and excited about Santa, Archie is non-verbal and just doesn’t understand so it did bring little tear to my eye seeing friends video’s on Facebook of their children of a similar age chatting excitedly about their presents. Then I gave my head a shake, this isn’t about me or my needs its about my kids. Brandon is at the age now where he’s happy for Archie to take the focus of the day and he’s mature enough to understand he has special needs.
I’m very lucky to have such an amazing boy who is so thoughtful about his brother, yes he may have ‘outgrown’ Christmas himself but he spent the time helping Archie open his presents when it all got too much for him. Archie may not be able to talk yet, or may not understand about Santa but when he opens a present and looks at it with pure amazement and happiness then who cares if he can’t say anything, his face says it all and I will always treasure that about my little boy.
After a morning of presents (and tidying up) we went to my sister’s house for Christmas dinner, it was lovely to spend some time in the kitchen helping her cook but I could hear the hubby struggling in the front room with Archie. We didn’t realise going somewhere for Christmas would affect him quite the way it did. He seemed to be quite distressed throughout the day, there was a lot of noise from my nieces and nephews which is to be expected on Christmas Day with all their excitement about new toys so Archie decided he was going to have his Christmas under the table. He laid on the floor watching TV and seemed to just calm instantly, we decided this was the best place for him as it obviously helped ease his distress. He wouldn’t come out to eat so we had our dinner and said our goodbyes.
It was a shame that we had to leave so early but Archie is our priority and our families will just have to adapt to that, just as much as we have to. Next year we’ll be more aware of Archie’s needs as we’re still only at the start of his Autism Journey and we’ll have a much more relaxed, Archie friendly Christmas.