Author: Katie Rose Pryel
Date: feb 12 2019
My Son and I Don’t Do Well with Chaos—and That’s Okay
We hate surprises. What we need is to be able to set our expectations properly.
This is Mom, Interrupted, a monthly column by Katie Rose Pryal about family life, mental illness, and raising disabled kids as a disabled parent.
When I was a kid, I hated Christmas.
At the time, I didn’t realize I did. Like every other kid, I got excited when the weather turned cold, when Christmas carols came on the radio, when it was time to have my picture taken with Santa, when I decorated the tree with my parents. But some things about Christmas are hard for people like me. At Christmastime, there’s a lot of chaos and unpredictability. Schedules change. It’s hard to keep track of days, of time. Of anything. And then there’s the forced happiness: Everyone is expected to be joyous. If we are lucky enough to have received presents, we are supposed to be delighted for them, so happy, all the time.
And as kids, our happiness is, in part, to make the adults happy. Even a socially awkward kid like me could figure that out. After getting it wrong a few times when I opened my gifts—the excitement building, the box opening, the gift disappointing, my face falling—my mother took me aside and taught me the script. “Thank you for the present. It’s perfect.” “Thank you so much for the present. I will use it all the time.” Words, delivered with a false smile, to keep adults happy.
From: Catapult. Read more here