Thanksgiving used to be my favorite holidays. I have lots of cousins (from my moms side)and that was the day we all got together when I was younger and even as I became an adult. It was the one day of the year that I knew I could go “home” and be brought back to childhood. Thanksgiving 2012 was the last one before my grandmother died and it was the last Thanksgiving that I enjoyed.
When Caleb was born part of why I wanted to move to FL was to be close to family so he could experience the same with his cousins here (from my Dads side) that were close to his age.The first thanksgiving we were here was around the time we found out that Autism was a real possibility but aside from that Caleb was already showing signs of overstimulation, aggression and not really being social. All of this meant mama once again, didn’t get to enjoy Thanksgiving. The following year was a little better, we knew what we were dealing with; our family was also aware and did their best to help but the anxiety was still there.
Family gatherings are hard. Caleb loves his family but gets overstimulated. He doesn’t eat anything, he doesn’t want to sit still at a dining table and there’s lots of people around. I, in turn, barely get to eat, I spend most of the time chasing, navigating, hovering and more importantly not enjoying family time.
It sounds awful to say in a time when people would kill to be with family (Some are literally risking it all to be with family) but I’m glad we got to stay home. I sat down and ate. Caleb had his usual chicken nuggets. There was no hovering, no anxiety, no reminders that Thanksgiving may never be the same.
This Thanksgiving the thing I’m most grateful for is that there was no real Thanksgiving. It may seem selfish but Caleb had a great day and everyone was happy.
Maybe we’ll try again in 2021