Monday, December 14, 2009

Festival of LIghts

Happy HanukkahImage by Ben Golub via Flickr

If you have a kid on the autism spectrum, you know that there are a thousand points where things can go wrong, every day. So we carefully manage our kids, picking and choosing where they go and what they do; prepping them; having Plan B's in place; all the while, schooling them in life skills, social skills, self-awareness, and flexibility.

Last night was loaded with opportunities for things to go wrong: company. We were having company for dinner; company Elmer didn't know; a family with a 6-year-old I'd invited to share Hanukkah dinner.

After spending the morning volunteering at the YMCA Xmas tree sale, Elmer was in good spirits. I asked if he knew of anything a 6-year-old could do in our house: "Nope". "Oh, well," I said, "I trust you will be a good host."

Mamas, he was a delightful human being, as my father would say; charming, witty, appropriate, de-light-ful. (on the festival of lights!)

He ushered in our guests, offered them beverages, sat on the couch and chatted with them, found books for the 6-year-old, stayed at the table for the whole meal, exhibited decent table manners. He even demonstrated advanced etiquette; asking, before polishing off the salad, "Would anyone like more salad?" He got the dreidel* game going, parcelling out gelt and pennies; and kept everyone happy and entertained for scores of spins.

*The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top that children play with on Hanukkah. Each side is imprinted with a Hebrew letter. These letters are an acronym for the Hebrew words נס גדול היה שם (Nes Gadol Haya Sham, "A great miracle happened there").

Here, too, Mamas. Here, too.

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  1. "Would anyone like more salad?" - truly amazing. And everything else along with it. Congratulations, Mama. (Applauding like crazy over here!)

  2. Awesome. As you always tell me, friend, the age of miracles is not dead.