Monday, December 6, 2010

Reflections of Hanukkah Weekend

The birthday parties were held at fun places.  One was at the same arcade we went to a few weeks ago, and the other was at one of those places with huge inflated slides and trampolines.  Kai had a lot of fun at both places, though he was more interested in playing with Mom or Dad than with any of the other kids.  The lack of socializing with other children is an ongoing concern for us.  Can the desire to play with kids be taught? 

As the time for our Hanukkah party drew nearer, and I was trying to keep our driveway clear of snow for our guests. Kai was more interested in throwing snowballs and making a snowman.  We did manage to build a snowman, though it was more accurately described as a snow penguin this morning by one of Kai’s schoolmates that he shares a taxi with.  Kai also wanted to make an igloo.  Not being an engineer, an Eskimo, or someone with much acumen for building things, I convinced him to settle for a decent snow fort.  Though, this morning he said he wanted to “finish” our igloo later today.  I guess I’ll have to google “building an igloo” and see what I can find.

The Hanukkah party was a success on so many levels.  It is great to share such an occasion with family, and it was nice to see those we don’t get to see too often.  My wife and I are not particularly experienced with entertaining, but my wife put a lot of thought and effort into this party and it showed.  This year, for the first time, she tried making beef brisket, which is a popular Jewish holiday entrée.  She found a recipe by a Jewish grandmother on YouTube, and it really was delicious.  She gained confidence to make it again.  

Of course, being parents of a child with autism, our definition of success of a party is usually dependent on our son’s behavior.  In this regard, the party was an unqualified hit.  Kai had been looking forward to it all week, and was very excited when guests started arriving.  Often, he gets too excited and out of control, but he held it together pretty well this time.  My wife had told him that he would not get to open his Hanukkah presents unless he played the piano nicely for everyone.  In the middle of dinner, he quietly slipped away from the table and played “My Dreidel” several times.  After dinner, he played a couple of duets with Mom, and then watched attentively as his nine-year old cousin played the cello.  When she finished, he cheered enthusiastically.

After waiting so patiently to open his presents, he ripped into them quickly once we finally gave him the okay to do so.  Before you knew it, there was wrapping paper everywhere and all the gifts were revealed.  For the rest of the evening, he and the other kids played with their new toys.

One of his gifts required more setup and we did not get to it until the next day.  But, once we did, he stopped just long enough to go sledding.  After our success with summer sledding, Kai couldn’t wait to sled down the big hill with all the snow.  I was happy to see that he was not scared and we went up and down many times.

But, then it was back to his new toy.  It served as excellent motivation for dinner as I’ve never seen him eat a meal so quickly.

Hanukkah comes only once a year.  But, the impact it has on our memories is as much as most other days combined.  For us, some special occasions are satisfying if we can just breathe a sigh of relief; this time, we have a good feeling of having experienced a truly wonderful time.   

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...