At 42 Degrees

At 42 Degrees

Friday, November 28, 2014

Understanding Thanksgiving,...

Non-traditional Thanksgiving this year,...via an icky cold-Mama can't shake which made cooking a traditional(home-made) turkey and dressing dinner not exactly feasible,...but as Isaac doesn't 'get' holidays yet our lapse in tradition didn't faze him,...and he was happy to eat out at a restaurant, especially since we ordered catfish for our little fish-loving guy,...I mean surely the pilgrims ate 'fish' on Thanksgiving Day too!!!

Thanksgiving Day Isaac enjoyed his catfish and french fries, while everyone else had turkey and dressing with all the trimmings. While he was at it, Isaac managed to charm our waitress as well with his cheery, "Hi," and "Tank you!" - when she refilled his drink,...and for a four year old he did GREAT in the crowded restaurant. Of course his tablet and having big brother Teddy there helped, but Isaac showed a lot of maturity by sitting in his chair and paying attention when the food arrived,...because he was anxious to get his plate,...which arrived last to his chagrin as he wanted a plate, everyone else,...which is for us a big social development,...

Does Isaac understand Thanksgiving is a special day? No, I am afraid he doesn't, not in the sense of a typical four year old would,...with the understanding of the pilgrims and turkeys as significant,...but Isaac colored a turkey at school, and was very proud to say, "I color," while showing me the brown crayon scribbles. And we both admired the colorful feathers which were glued on, no doubt by the teacher as they were too precise for a four year old, and Isaac has a 'thing' about glue, but the entire point is Isaac was proud of his turkey and he exhibited recall, 'I color," which is HUGE as it is still a rare occurrence. 

At the restaurant Isaac folded his hands and prayed with us, his family when we gave thanks for the food,...his ringing, "AMEN!" - drew smiles from us, and others,...

Unprompted, Isaac knows to pray over his meals, even snacks are lisped over, "Tank you, food, AMEN!"  - Is this by rote or by understanding? Impossible to tell, but Isaac is very courteous to say, "Tank you," - for any consideration, also unprompted, I might add, so perhaps he grasps more of the essentials than he is able to communicate to us. 

With apraxia and autism holidays are more complicated, the sense of trying to communicate what is 'special' about the day or tradition to your child,...and frankly it is a consideration I would not have bargained for, children are usually so excited by the prospect of a holiday, but that's not the case with Isaac, our little guy lives for the moment,...

Understanding Thanksgiving takes on new meaning when trying to translated such sentiments to your child,...and as I thought about Isaac's Thanksgiving,...trying to connect with his understanding, which is so hard to gauge, I have to stick to concrete facts and that's not such a bad thing as the facts are indisputable as Isaac spent Thanksgiving Day with people he loves,...he ate a meal he likes and was thankful to receive. I mean half the restaurant must have heard that, "AMEN!" - and as usual, Isaac manages to simplify essentials into a nutshell,...if he understands that thanksgiving translates into love,...and no doubt Isaac felt loved, he was so happy and content,...

Although I keep repeating this phrase, I can't get over the fact that Isaac experiences the world in a different way,...and he makes sure we do as well,...Such as, everything we thought we knew, like traditional holidays are place in a different light, and usually pared down to the very essentials: thanks, love, family and food. Our Thanksgiving this year was non-traditional, but yet it had all the essentials,...and that's all that really matters. 

Thank you Isaac for helping me to understand what Thanksgiving really means. 

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

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