And you know why this is perfect and it's going to work?
Because he already loves my boy with autism.
Sure, it means so much that he loves me and I love him and I can be myself around him and he loves my quirks and he buys me flowers and we finish each other's sentences and we laugh over the same stupid jokes and we like to complain about the same things and I feel safe in his arms and we like to dance in the middle of the day in the middle of the living room....
But so many marriages struggle when autism comes aboard. Many don't, but many do. My theory is that when people get married they don't look at each other and ask, "What if our child has a major special need? What if we will always be our child's legal guardian? What if...."
And then they're blindsided and maybe just not ready to cope with that- or to cope with it together. They realize their coping mechanisms are very different. Or they realize they have very different views on how to raise a child with special needs....I don't know....
All I do know is that I already know Colin is a great role model for both of my children, including my one with autism. I already know he will listen to me talk about biomedical approaches and not undermine me. I already know that he'll have the patience of a saint. I already know he'll protect my boy as his own. I already know that he'll freaking clean up the bathroom after one of Brian's mishaps...
because he's already doing it.
We've already had the talk about the possibility of my child living with us indefinitely if the need arises. We've already talked about future children and how there may be a higher probability that that child may have their own challenges. He tells me how much he will love that child no matter what. I already know he'll love and go to bat for that future child because he does it for my two already.
Every year shopping for Christmas seems to be a bit more difficult for my boy.
First, let's start with the boring stuff. Clothes. What kid wants clothes for Christmas? Too bad, it's going to happen.
I do try to buy them clothes they'll enjoy and like...however, it is getting harder and harder to find Thomas the Train pajamas in Brian's size. Don't the Thomas creators realize their biggest fan base is a bunch of children with autism...that are all getting older?? They should really work on expanding their products. The poor boy is running around almost nightly in a Thomas PJ set that looks like booty shorts and a belly shirt.
And then I just realized yesterday, as I was perusing Soft, that he is already in their largest size they offer. For those who don't know Soft is a great clothing company that offers clothes for kids with sensory difficulties. These are seriously the only clothes that my boy will keep on, EVEN IN OUR HOME. What do I do for him when he doesn't fit in those clothes anymore?
Babies, toddlers, preschoolers- there are tons of leggings and sweats that are CUTE for them. After a certain age you just get jogging pants. I haven't seen Pajama Jeans available in boys' styles yet. Not sure if I really want to see that, but Brian probably would enjoy them.
Christmases past have given Brian a lot of sensory items- he has received collapsible tunnels, compression tunnels, weighted blankets, swings, trampolines, and more. There's not much left there that he needs anymore.
As far as toys are concerned, well Brian doesn't have much of an interest beyond trains. I can bring Brian into any toy store and he will sniff out the trains. And he will only want those trains. I can take him into a toy store without trains and he will walk out empty-handed without a single complaint.
I try to get him toys that are educational or would help him with pretend play or are train-related but not an actual train. He'll look at them. They might get played with for one 10-minute session. And then they collect dust.
They never get played with again.
I will most likely buy him more trains...it means an awful lot to me that he has that moment of happiness on Christmas morning. That smile he'll have when he unwraps yet another Thomas train will make my week, for sure.
What are you buying your little ones for Christmas this year?
I'm not sure there are many 8-year-olds that I could make laugh with the simple "bite your fingers" game. I know Corbin outgrew that some time in his toddler years. It shows where my son is developmentally.
It also shows how happy my boy is with life. Oh, how I love that laugh. It shows that he can appreciate such little things and be happy so easily. I don't see much in life getting him down. I'm jealous of that a little bit.