All of us in the autism world know what it is like to be disappointed. We know what it is like to see something not work. We have seen it many times. We have had to change our ways of thinking, our ways of doing our normal day-to-day activities. And it sucks…
Halloween was something I was looking forward to. This was the first year we took the Monster out trick or treating and I was excited, but I was also nervous. We bought him a costume, a trick or treat bucket and we packed him up and headed out to go door to door. He didn’t like his costume, but he was better in it once he got out of the house. The Monster doesn’t like candy or any sweets for that matter, but we wanted him to have the experience that Mike and I had growing up. Trick or treating is one of those things you remember.
We started and it wasn’t what I was hoping for. He ended up being carried for over half the time and would whine every time we went up to a door. He didn’t enjoy it. His sensory and anxiety was just in overload mode and he didn’t like one bit of it. He loves scary movies so I don’t think other children in their costumes bothered him.
Then later last night, Mike and I were talking and I just started crying. I want him to be able to do these things and enjoy them because I am a mom. I want to get excited about doing these things, but I can’t. I can’t because we never know how he is going to react. We don’t know if he will make it through whatever we are doing.
Every holiday is going to be different and hard. Halloween, we know he doesn’t like costumes and if we get him one, then it has to be something not fluffy and pretty much like regular clothing. His first Halloween wasn’t what I expected, I guess I expected to be like everyone else for one night. Be a ‘normal’ family and not looked at differently. And not feel so different around other people. Was I little selfish in wanting him to have an experience that I enjoyed so much as a kid? Yes, I was. Do I feel bad about it? No, I don’t. I don’t feel bad because I am a mom. Every parent wants to remember their childs first official Halloween. Every parent wants to watch their child open up presents on Christmas and see joy on their face. I don’t get the full experience like other parents do. And sometimes it gets to me. And I cry about it. I cry because I want him to have joy as I did when doing these things. But we will work around it. We will make our traditions and we will experience a different type of joy. Do I think we will ever go trick or treating again? I don’t know. Maybe we will try each year and just not dress him up and maybe we won’t carry him up to the house. We want him to be out with other kids because he loves people and we don’t want to keep him cooped up in the house all the time. He needs to see the world too. We just have to adjust for the holidays just like we have to adjust going out in general. Just another thing we have to adjust to and I am okay with that. We will find other things that we all enjoy together.
Their was one thing that I enjoyed. His Costume! Whether he liked it or not. He was a Monster and I couldn’t help but smile every time I looked at him in it!