The year is drawing to a close, the nights growing ever longer as the days grow shorter. The winter solstice is almost upon us, just one of many holidays people celebrate this time of year. These celebrations, Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve are examples of diversity while sharing the goals of celebrating light, hope and kindness during a dark time of the year.
The topics for my blogs are planned out in advance, with a faint hope that I might work ahead instead of scribbling something out the night before. My son and I are collaborating on topics and this week he suggested the theme of birthday, specifically my birthday.
With some time off, I find myself wanting to write an extra piece for the holiday. WInter isn’t quite here, but there are shorter days and longer nights. With less sunshine, more darkness and cold, it can sometimes be hard to remember brighter times. The holidays help, with the gathering of family and friends, yet there are still times when that absence of light starts to seem like a lack of hope. negative associations with winter. We may wonder if the weather will ever warm and if spring will come again.
I’m writing this post on a quiet November evening, working to find words. Rain is drumming down on the roof, the first winter storm of the season, and I find myself relaxing in spite of stress at my day job. I am ready for a rest and next week I will take a few days off to spend time at home with my family.
Over the last couple of years, I have answered questions from other parents who are looking for more information about autism. I decided to pull out sections from each chapter of our book that contain references and some thoughts about different times of parenting an autistic child. A PDF of those excerpts is now available on our site, you can download a copy at Resources, References and Reflections Excerpts
Another change in the season and the carved pumpkins and scary decorations are put away until next year. There are still pumpkins on display, with the added display of squash, and corn, symbols of a bountiful harvest. There are some Christmas decorations sneaking in, but most people are enjoying the quiet thankfulness of November before moving on.
I am continuing with my theme for the month of October, cleaning. I have been somewhat busy with cleaning house but that’s not the only cleaning I’ve done. The other cleaning, perhaps more of a cleansing, is reviewing old memories. I find it all too easy to stay attached to old memories and revisit the past. Some of those memories bring comfort and longing as I remember happy times with family and friends. There are people I miss and wish I could spend more time with. Other memories are not so pleasant, memories of failure or shame at past events.
With the days growing shorter, it is apparent that summer has wound down and a new season has started. The temperatures are still summer like during the day but with longer nights, it is easier to sleep in cooler weather. The open windows bring fresh air and are a welcome relief from a closed up house for air conditioning
The holiday this week is Patriot Day for September 11th. Over the last few years, as I’ve observed problem over the last few years, I have wondered if I have done enough of service for my community. I have started helping out with the local autism society and sharing our family experiences with other parents of autistic children. Sometimes it seems like a small thing, but I occasionally get comments that my information has helped.