Christmas greetings to many marvelous people
Call me old-fashioned, but I include handwritten notes in the Christmas cards I send out – a major reason why this post is not as timely as it might have been otherwise! And I still have more cards to write … but I feel the time is worth it.
(By the way, you might get a laugh from one of the cards we sent out a few years ago):
Since starting this blog, I’ve grown to value the community of people who, in one way or another, help our atypical teens and young adults. Sending each of you a Christmas card to show my appreciation is not exactly feasible, but I wish I could!
To the doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and researchers who devote their careers to puzzling out what’s going on with our atypical population, and how to make it better: thanks for all the strides in understanding you have made so far (and we’re looking forward to continued advances!)
To the educators, administrators, and staff who skillfully help our kids navigate through school and who devote a little extra attention, a little extra kindness, to the kids who are struggling: these seemingly small actions can change lives.
To the people in the big nonprofit organizations, all the way down to the local support groups: thanks for keeping it going despite limited financial and communal support, and zero free time.
To attorneys, financial planners, insurance specialists, and others who provide support for our struggling families: we appreciate your guidance through the often-confusing worlds you understand much better than we do.
To educational consultants: your skills in finding the best program for our kids, or for making sure they get the most out of the program they are in, enhance the lives of everyone involved.
To coaches, Scout leaders, and program directors who help our kids develop skills, socialize, and feel better about themselves: thanks for opening up the possibilities for a fuller life.
To other bloggers, website maintainers, and social media participants who share knowledge and experiences online: you help us understand that we don’t have to face our challenges in isolation.
To siblings: we appreciate it every time you show patience and understanding. Hope you get the understanding you deserve. Hugs to you all.
To our young folks: thanks for hanging in there, and thanks for hanging on to the spark inside you, which is still there underneath all the fear, frustration, despair, confusion, loneliness, and “failure” in a world that doesn’t understand you.
Most of all, I’d like to send Christmas greetings to the parents.
You, who are wondering how to make it through the holidays, when the cheer that is everywhere else is not to be found at home.
You, who struggle to compose your Christmas greetings without sounding whiny or depressing.
You, who cringe at holiday outings and family gatherings, where your almost-adult kids may have meltdowns or behave rudely.
You, who receive dreaded calls from school before the holidays and worry about what’s going on when your kids are on break during the holidays.
You, who grimly wonder what to give someone who vows not to be alive by New Year’s Day.
You are heroes.
You deserve all the gifts of the season, no matter what your religious persuasion (or lack thereof): peace, joy, comfort, hope, companionship, music, laughter, beauty, love.
May you find these in abundance.