Right now it’s New Years Eve in our little neck of the woods.
For us, this means crowds and the chance of unwanted bodily contact with strangers. Not to mention the risk of unexpected commotions and noises that are just too loud to accommodate sensitive ears, hearts and feelings.
Instead of trying to look like the ‘cool family’ that’s always at the centre of everything that’s supposed to be fun and bright and normal, this year, I gave myself permission to be who I truly am, and admit to myself that I have no desire to be pushed, trampled on, or stared at by untold faces while my children and I try to the battle the New Years Eve crowds.
My daughter, at first was not happy with this admission of truth, but we talked it out, and it turned out, that all she really wanted to see were the fireworks.
So we compromised and I drove her to a quiet spot over looking the city and we watched the fireworks explode with all their color and splendor, as we oohed and ahhed, from the comfort of our car.
Now as I type this, my daughter is sleeping soundly in her bed.
Whether she knows it or not, she’s more relaxed this New Years Eve than she’s been for a long, long time.
So I guess there is indeed something to be said for removing the weight of social expectations from all of our shoulders.
My son, as those familiar with Autism might have guessed, would have had a huge melt down less than five minutes into the whole public celebratory ordeal at any rate, so he was delighted to be able to strip off his clothes, hop into bed and feed his on going X-Box addiction.
I for my part, am finally beginning to understand that it’s Okay to acknowledge where my own areas of discomfort are and that’s it’s Okay to say no to some of those socially accepted/constructed expectations of what a “happy family” should be doing on New Years Eve.
It’s Okay to admit that sometimes we’re all fragile in different ways and it’s Okay to ask others to respect that fragility.
With that in mind, tonight, I can say for the first time in a very long time, that snug and safe within the familiar surroundings of our own home, far away from the stress and the noise of ‘having a publicly acknowledged good time’, we are all both individually and collectively, a very happy family.
So I say to everyone, everywhere, whether you’re celebrating by partying or quietly enjoying your own space and peace of mind…..
Have a very Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!