Autism: The Grinch That Stole His Holiday Excitement

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The holidays are fast approaching. And for the past few weeks, my mind has been filled with excitement and longing for celebration and togetherness. In an ever-changing world that we are a part of, looking forward to something is a must these days. But as the first of the next few major holidays creep up on our families, a new concept plagues my thoughts.

In our area, holiday gatherings are not “banned” but discouraged, as we still reside within a worldwide pandemic. And there’s a very real chance that we won’t be able to come together, as we usually do, I can’t help but wonder if Beckett even notice? Will he even care? Does he recognize Thanksgiving? Does he yearn for Christmas cheer? Will he learn the tradition behind celebrating a New Year? Will he wonder why such a disruption has occurred this year? Or will it all pass him by for yet another year, like a busy day simply following the next?

I’m a people person. I love to be around others. To joke, to laugh, to engage. To see emotion exude from the faces of those you love. And my boy, my sweet, nonverbal, autistic little love, he much prefers his own company at this point. The company of the few. Too many faces equal too many feelings. We know this. We are quite familiar, as he is anything but “silent” on the subject. But he does enjoy to explore, and run, and do his own thing, no matter if we are home or in a relative’s space.

So we go, we do, we push for inclusivity. And we cross our fingers for our positive, happy boy to acclimate. Oh, 2020. The many curve balls you have thrown. With the probability low that we will be able to get together for these holidays, I’m saddened. But not just for my own selfish holiday-loving reasons. But because it has dawned on me that my littlest love, my loving little boy, may very well be happy yet to simply stay. He cares not if our Thanksgiving table is home to three chairs or twenty. He pays no mind to Christmas trees or presents. He will remain here at home, in his element for these celebrations with us, and whether or not he knows they have arrived, he will be delighted. Because he is home. His safe place. The place of little want, or questions, or confusion. And a big part of me is forever grateful for it. Because he knows our love for him.

But I hope with all my might that we can someday reach a day where he requests to go out. That he prefers to go and be in the company of all the people that love him. To get to the day that he knows the excitement of holidays, and traditions, even if they look different to all others. Traditions are made to be your own, after all. With all the change occurring, I suppose it better that Beckett doesn’t know the importance of these days to his Mama. It’s better this way, to keep his springy spirit. But I pray that one day in his future, we can all celebrate, and he will look forward to the occasion and the love that follows.

This post originally appeared on To Infinity & Beyond Words.

BriAnna is a stay-at-home mom to her Disney loving, son Beckett (5), and wife to her Navy  Veteran husband, Cameron. Beckett is Autistic and non-verbal, so BriAnna created her page, "To Infinity & Beyond Words" to shine a light of love on their world of special needs. Their family of three call Nebraska home, and call themselves blessed.