Tuesday, November 19, 2013


The holidays are fast approaching and I'm already busier than I like. Since I'm throwing a small Thanksgiving party, I've been shopping and planning menu ideas. I've also spent what seems like hours and hours in the toy aisles getting suggestions for Christmas gift ideas. 

Several fun get-togethers are coming up soon, which will involve more shopping for gifts, and cookie baking, which are activities I actually enjoy quite a bit. But they wear me out.

This weekend, however, I'm participating in an exciting outing that is probably going to be my undoing. Survival is questionable. 

Our church youth group is attending a fall festival that is loads of fun. I've attended in the past as a sponsor for the girls, and had such an enjoyable time. Little sleep, but lots of bonding and laughing and sharing. 

This year, however, is going to be a whole different ball game.

My son is protesting that he doesn't want to attend. I can understand this, because social situations are quite difficult for him, at least when they center around kids. He is much more in his element when surrounded by adults. His autism and anxiety disorder interfere with his ability to let down his guards and enjoy himself, and one situation that is most difficult for him is being away from one of us for an overnight.

We discussed the idea of my husband going in my place, but then he would be in the same cabin as our son, and we thought it would be good for him to stay with people he knows and can trust, but still make it a growing experience - at least, that's our hope.

So I will be there, but I'll be staying with the girls. He can do this, I know, but I'm not expecting it to all be smooth sailing. He'll be highly stressed, but hopefully he'll be reassured enough by my presence to avoid a full out meltdown.

I'm happy to have the opportunity to attend. I love to see him overcome obstacles and learn that he can be successful. He's a neat kid, and of course I love him with my entire being, but it's still hard to see him struggle so much with social situations that should be all joy and uplifting. The fact that I can trust my husband to keep the other kids safe and take care of the chores here at home is priceless.

Unfortunately, the weather is not going to cooperate in helping make this a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The high 60's and low 70's that we've been blessed with this week are moving out tomorrow, and the weekend is predicted to bring snow and freezing temperatures. And wind, of course. What would Kansas be without the wind?

I just hope there is room in the van for my arctic sleeping bag, and extra blankets, and thermal socks, and wool longjohns. No chance of packing just a small bag with a toothbrush, pillow, and book. Surely I can find a place to stash my Nook!


Cordelia Dinsmore


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