With Thanksgiving done…the free-fall to Christmas begins.

Stop the year!  I want to get off!  Why is it going so fast?  Why is it suddenly the last Monday in November?  Did I blink and miss some of 2016, or am I just now suddenly realizing that time goes faster because we’re older??????

Deep breath.   And another…   and another…

Yes, my friends…it is not yet December, but it’s less than a month to Christmas Day, and the year is basically on its last legs.  What a year it has been!  We have had several rough patches (all of them belonging to different categories,) and we seem to -finally- be witnessing the slow dissipation of the fog that has been J’s mood and attitude lately.  We have had, since Friday, a much happier son than we’d had in a while.  On Saturday night, as he hugged me before bedtime, I whispered to him “how we’ve missed you, kid!”  He smiled broadly, and giggled his way into bed.

More and more we see more of him.  Less and less he seems to spiral out of control when his bandaids are off, or when the brace is removed, or when he is momentarily put out of sorts by something trivial.  We still have to negotiate and remind him of things more often than we used to, but he’s getting closer to being less dependent on our cues and appeasements.  This is, of course, what we need: the opportunity to communicate with him with greater ease.  It is when he is too riled up, too tense, too anxious, too defensive, too self-involved that we have problems communicating, and the med seems to have dissolved some of the thick outer shell he had developed.  Or, maybe, the thick shell was inside, and we’ve just managed to melt it a little.  Only time will tell.

With Christmas just around the corner, we’re working on getting motivated for it…I think the past few weeks have been so emotionally grueling that we might be hesitant about this.  We want, above all else, for J to feel up to it all. We are trying to figure out the best way to not overwhelm him, and so we are going slowly.  I walk with him around the store, and I ask him what things are; he tells me Christmas tree, lights, or he hums Christmas songs.  But we’re not pushing the whole thing to the point where it has to be now, or even soon.  We’re just easing into it.  That he’s been listening to The Waitresses’ Christmas Wrapping on a loop is not necessarily encouraging, but we’re not taking it as a sign that he’s “over” Christmas either.  Maybe he’s just trying to say that he’s not quite “there” yet.

On our Saturday outing we stopped at the crafts’ store, and J helped pick out the garlands and bows we’re using for outdoor decorations this year.  He also helped me find small Christmas-themed boxes for the gifts Dada gives his co-workers each year.  At the store they had a display with small boxes that had winter and Christmas designs, and J didn’t want any with Santa Claus on them; he chose penguins, snowflakes, tartan plaid, wreaths…got very upset when I pointed to Santa Claus.  Santa Claus, however, figures prominently on the wrapping paper he chose for this year’s presents.  So I guess it’s not personal, but the medium didn’t seem appropriate?

Dada is back to work today so we resume our usual routine.  This morning we’ve already made beds, loaded the dishwasher, and are now on a short break before we launch into other chores.  The Waitresses are still singing, but J is in a positive frame of mind.  I don’t want him doing somersaults, and bouncing about in a musical production number sort of way, but I want to see him open to things.  That is the key to making this work…

Well, there are chores to do, and a batch of soaps and bath salts we must produce and package today so they can be labeled and mailed to my cousin.  She put in an order to give to her husband’s staff, and J has been (in spite of his less than stellar mood) working on this project little by little.  He’s done very nice work, I have to say, and he does enjoy seeing the end result once he’s cut ribbons, printed labels, mounted them on pretty scrapbook paper.  He especially likes melting wax and using a J-stamp to seal the wrapping.  It’s all part of a process that makes him feel he’s going from raw materials to a completed product, and it gives him purpose.  He likes that…

Well…November is slowly reeling out to its last day, and we have things to do.  Every day, we hope, will be a little bit better…  Maybe 2016 won’t end on the note we had hoped for when it started, but it won’t clang dissonantly, discordantly, cacophonously as we had briefly feared it would…

It’s still gone too fast, hasn’t it???




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