Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy *Yawn* New Year

The stereotype of kids with autism is that they don’t want to interact with other people. But, that is not always true, and it is certainly not the case with our son. Kai does not like to play by himself. And since he doesn’t have any siblings, that means that he wants Mom and/or Dad to be with him all the time. So, after giving him near constant attention over much of winter break the past two weeks, my wife and I are more than ready for him to be back at school today.

Our New Year’s Eve was spent watching Kai’s favorite videos and playing one of the new games he got for Christmas. For Kai, getting to do all of those things was good enough, but staying up late to do them made it even better.

Kai often does not sleep well anyway, and the fact that he was so excited made it clear that he easily could have stayed up until midnight. But my wife and I were pooped. So, we told him that when the ball dropped on Times Square in New York, it would count as the new year even though it would only be 11PM where we live.

By the time Dick Clark came on our TV screen for the final countdown, Kai was revved up even more. For a kid who loves numbers, keeping track of time is a preferred activity. And so, counting down toward a whole new year is as exciting as it gets.

My wife and I still remember when we thought it would be a miracle if Kai ever spoke at all. And so, this night, as Kai held his toy microphone, we had huge smiles as he loudly counted down the final seconds of 2010 and proclaimed, “Happy New Year!”

We popped a bottle of sparkling apple-grape soda and toasted the new year. Then, it was off to bed. I don’t know about Kai, but I’m pretty sure that my wife and I were both sound asleep before it officially became 2011 in our area.

Some people believe that the way you start the new year sets the tone for how things will go that year. If that is true, we will be in a constant state of exhaustion in 2011. But then again, that was the case throughout 2010, so what else is new?

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