After our horrendous plane trips last summer, we made the difficult decision to stay here in Arizona for Christmas this year, rather than flying back to Georgia to spend it with our families. While we are sad not to spend the holidays with all of our extended friends and family, it was really the only choice for us at this point. Regardless of the difficulties of getting Christmas gifts across the country twice, the high cost of airfare and the logistics involved, we would have done it if Aaron could travel a little easier. As it is, he can't.
His sensory processing problems make traveling a complete nightmare for all involved (including the 100+ other passengers on the plane), but mostly for him. When your body doesn't know how to process new sights, sounds and motions, being strapped into a car seat where you can't move for four hours on a plane full of strange people, sounds, sights, smells and motions is pretty horrible. I dislike flying for many of those reasons and I don't have any sensory problems. I can only imagine how terrible it is for him.
Luckily we have a very understanding family. Matt's parents were able to come visit over Thanksgiving and my parents will be here on Christmas. We will miss seeing our siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends but we are lucky that our parents have the ability to come spend the holidays with us. I know many families who aren't as lucky. Either because their families can't travel or they don't "get" why the child with special needs can't travel.
So, as I'm counting my blessings this year (and there are many, even though it has been a difficult year), at the top of my list will be the blessing of a loving, understanding family who has always been there to support us no matter how bumpy the road has been or how far away we are. It is not lost on me how much you mean to all of us.
Right after that will be the blessing of caring, supportive friends who are always there for me when I need to talk or vent. Even if you don't completely understand what I'm going through, it means the world to me that you will take the time to listen to me and try to sympathize.
I think I will save the rest of my blessings for another post, but this deserved a post of its own. And if you are reading this, you are probably one of those people, so thank you, we love you all!