On Christmas morning my son will have a meltdown – absolutely guaranteed. It happens on Mother’s Day as well. So if I know he’s going to have a meltdown, why don’t I put things in place to prevent it? Short answer – because my mummy isn’t here anymore, which means there’s no way to put things in place. On Christmas Day, my son will wake up in anticipation of all his presents from Santa. He’ll excitedly rip open all of them, maybe start playing; and then it will dawn on him that mom didn’t get any present and he has none to give me.
Being on the autism spectrum, my son sees the world very literally. While those who don’t know better think that autistics often lack empathy, I’ve seen firsthand how my son’s high degree of empathy causes himself pain, both physical and emotional. He won’t understand that my joy comes from his happiness because he equates happiness with gifts and thinks that applies to everyone. No matter how I try to explain, he will consider himself to be the worst child ever because everyone has presents to open except for mom. My time then becomes a mix of trying to console him and trying to reassure him that mom is happy, that I didn’t need any presents on this day or any other day. These are the moments I miss my mummy the most. Without a doubt, she would’ve made sure there were presents under the tree signed from my son. Don’t get me wrong… I love the spirit of the season; I understand the true meaning of Christmas. But maybe that’s why it hurts so much because a part of my family isn’t with me. The person who would’ve supported me most as I try to navigate all the trials and tribulations of being an autism mama.