A new theme to my (rather sporadic) blog posts for the Christmas season inspired by us decorating our tree this weekend: Christmas spoilers and blessings - as experienced when living with a partner with Asperger’s Syndrome.
So, picture the scene, the Christmas tree is up and Ethan comes down from the loft carrying two boxes of tree decorations – collected and made over many years of children’s Christmases. We (my five-year-old, seven-year-old, ten-year-old and I) tear into the boxes, excited to begin this festive family tradition. In our box of decorations we come across tinsel, of course, and baubles – and more baubles…every now and again the continual stream of baubles is made more exciting by the discovery of one of the children’s first Christmas baubles or a ceramic angel with Ava’s name on. But steadily, the box is emptying and something is still missing. The years’ and years’ worth of toilet roll Father Christmases and cardboard angels that are the inevitable and personal finishing touches to any family Christmas tree… the culmination of ten years of children’s Christmases are all gone, save for a single glittery red stocking and a cardboard manger scene that have survived Ethan’s cull.
Unbeknown to any of us, when putting the Christmas tree decorations back in the loft last year, Ethan had taken it upon himself to sort through them and had chucked out ‘the old, tatty-looking decorations’! He was utterly desensitised to the fact that these were his children’s creations, lovingly and excitedly made and tracking their creativity from toddler-hood to present-day. He was thinking purely practically; they’d seen better days so out they went!
I was gutted, obviously and astounded once again by the way his mind works. However, after my emotional reaction fuelled by mulled wine, I don’t think he’ll be doing it again! And the children have already set to work creating new festive delights to adorn our house with!
The blessing, because I feel, particularly at this time of goodwill, that I should counter any whinge with recognition of what I have to be thankful for, is that Ethan has so far risen to the occasion, made the effort, put a (sometimes slightly pained) smile on his face and has been cheerful, sociable and (mostly) upbeat during what has been even for me a sociably-exhausting couple of weeks.
Hoping he’s pacing himself cos we’ve got another three weeks to go before he can slump into the hibernation of January!