Autism · family · Holidays · Life · Normal · truth

Autism and Forced holidays

Halloween has come and gone. In my house it is a big deal for Princess Savvy because her birthday is just 2 days prior and she feels like the holiday is a huge party in her honor. For D-Man it’s just another day, but on this particular day his evil mother forces him to:

  • Dress up in clothes he doesn’t care for
  • Drive somewhere he doesn’t want to go
  • Be in a crowded place full of strangers
  • Be forced to carry a bucket or bag that gets heavy
  • Be forced to say “Trick or Treat” ad nauseam
  • Be forced to walk at least a mile
  • Have to hold hands the entire time

In fact the only part he enjoys is checking out other people’s costumes, and the scary decorations (he has a strange love of all things “skeletal”).

Why do I force it? Partially, because I have no one to watch him while I take Princess Savvy out. The rest is some strange notion I have that he might feel left out. In all honesty though, I could treat everyday here as just another normal day (no Halloween, no Christmas, etc) and it wouldn’t bother him one bit. I do not intend to do that to him, but the fact remains: he doesn’t care.

And if I’m being brutally honest: I don’t really care either.

When I was little, holiday’s (all of them) were about family: Get-together’s, dinners, parties, etc. They were just an excuse to gather the family (both immediate and extended) and hang out. Now that I’m older, the family has moved away from each other and drifted apart. My brothers do not have children, so I think their sense of family is different than mine. My parents have both remarried, moved away, and are doing their own thing (good for them). Aunts, uncles, and cousins are no longer in touch…

Once upon a time, it took a village.

Now that village has been replaced by poor electronic substitutes, like FaceBook (which is a cesspool by the way, y’all should try MeWe). We post our smiley faces and hearts, the occasional – oh, hope you’re good – platitude, but it all lacks substance and feeling. When did human connection become so hard to come by?

So the holiday’s now have to have a new meaning for me, and my little clan: not the greater picture of family, but the little one I am left with.

Why do I force it then, when it could be anything I want? I’m not entirely sure: For some semblance of normalcy maybe? A bit of family connection, and happy childhood memories? For a bit of the past that I remember as being fun? Probably some of each.

In any event, it’s over and now I can start the 2 month, dreaded “holiday depression” cycle that always befalls this house; for much the same reasons and many others. Thankfully, I have my wine…and it’ll have to do.


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