What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

TIDINGS OF JOY

     Home  >  Articles  > BLOGS
by Michaela Searfoorce

Related: blessings of a special needs child, mom of disabled preteen, nyc mom blog, the foorce,


Mom blogger Michaela Searfoorce, an NYC parent of two toddlers and a preteen son with special needs, reflects on her blessings in honor of the upcoming holiday season.

 

With small children, even the best of holiday intentions can turn into chaos. Add a child with special needs to the mix and the spiked eggnog becomes more necessity than festivity. So it will come as no surprise that with two toddlers and a disabled preteen, many of our family efforts at tradition have only been successful in creating stories that will be retold for years to come.

Something as simple as Christmas Mass can be a nightmare for a child with autism or sensory issues. There are lights and decorations everywhere, extra people (lots), noise and music, even strange smells. And the holiday services are much longer than usual. Much, much longer. By the end of the evening (or well before), James has his hands over his ears, a coat over his head, or is asking "Is it almost over?" in his not-so-subtle worried voice. The organ is too loud, the music too "sad," the incense too smelly, it is too hot, a baby is crying. Add to that not one but two toddlers climbing seats, rolling on the floor, screeching, whining, spilling grapes beneath the pew, fighting over books, and a beloved family tradition begins to resemble anything but.

Then there have been the unforgettables -- the Christmas Eve that James, thinking he'd discovered a secret chocolate stash, inhaled an entire bar of Ex-Lax. Or the children's Mass that invited kids for a front-row view of the pageant (including my 2-year-old gleefully riding another child around the altar). Or my personal favorite, the Christmas Eve toilet explosions (yes, plural). Among James's plethora of special needs is megacolon (even worse than it sounds). As we found out the hard way, megacolon and prewar plumbing don't mix.

Despite it all, wrapping gifts at 3am on Christmas Eve is always special, even though we are dead tired. There's something magical about turning around as we finally head to bed for one last look at the gifts spilling out from the glow of our Christmas tree -- the tree that we excitedly picked out at W. 99th and Broadway and spent hours decorating. There's even something endearing about being woken up two hours later by our ridiculously delighted children.

We consider ourselves very, very lucky. We want our kids to know that there is no amount of tears, Ex-Lax, altar rodeos, plumbing crises, or spilled fruit snacks that will change how amazingly blessed we feel to be their parents, and how simply happy we are to be in this family.

The best way we can think to pass this feeling of gratitude on to our children is to show them the joy of giving. And what better season to demonstrate this tradition? Though our children are still young, we have started in small ways -- participating in toy drives with scouts, baking holiday treats to pass out to the homeless in our area (and tucking a little $ into the box).

It is my sincere wish that the gift of giving touches you and your family this season and that you have a happy, magical holiday!

On December 16, Searfoorce will be collecting non-perishable food items and wrapping gifts for a family under the care of a local shelter in NYC; many families at this shelter have been touched by domestic violence and have a child or children with special needs.
Want to help? You can stop by a holiday meeting at P.S. 163 (163 W. 97th Street) on December 16 and drop off a donation, help wrap gifts, or bring a treat for the volunteers. Visit www.thefoorce.com for more details.

Michaela Searfoorce lives in NYC and blogs at www.thefoorce.com.

 

 

Also see: NYMetroParents' Holiday Bazaar of Traditions, Memories, Insights, and Gifts

 


Get Your FREE Indoor Activity eGuide!

More BLOGS Articles

The Best of the Rest of the Web: Paternity Leave, Sleepless Nights, and Escape to Amish Country

The Best of the Rest of the Web: Kids Are Weird, Multitasking, and Work-Flex Benefits
The Best of the Rest of the Web: Max Gamer, an Accessible Icon, and Celebrating Small Milestones
The Best of the Rest of the Web: Sunny Days, Family Vacations, and The Good Mother Myth
The Best of the Rest of the Web: Avoiding Meltdowns, Embracing Broccoli, and Just Enjoying a Hot Cup of Tea

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local BLOGS Sponsors

Pelham Lumber
437 Fifth Ave
Pelham, New York
(914) 573-4473
When it's time to build, you need a lumber yard th...

New York Tutition
New York, New York
347-403-9698 / 347-403-9NYT
New York Tuition services those in the Greater New...

Chelsea Piers Connecticut
Stamford, CT
203-989-1000
Fairfield County's most comprehensive sports progr...

Bach To Rock
1015 Port Washington Blvd.
Port Washington, New York
516-441-2256
Bach To Rock is the Music School for students of a...

Aptekar, Doris M., PhD
School Psychologist/Bilingual Psychologist, Licensed Mental Health Counselor
NY
516-484-6351
It's your life; choose a goal and make it yours. G...
See Our BLOGS Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2014 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE