Well, our second Christmas season with “the Littles” is officially over. It was a very good year.
Last year, we had to limit our visitors and our visits; our traumatized little ones just couldn’t tolerate strangers or too many new people in our home. The Captain, now 4, had the hardest time. Although he was not yet 3 when he came here, we were his 6th move. The closest thing he had to an attachment was his birth mother whom he had seen once a week for an hour most of his life. New people scared him. Visitors scared him. A change in routine–frightening.
It’s a whole new world this year. We tested the kids out by taking them to our in-laws for Thanksgiving. They all did fine. The Captain was the best of all, getting through the 4-day trip without a single tantrum or breakdown.
We decided to chance it and resume our normal Christmas life. It was a risk worth taking; we want the Littles to have the same sense of community our older girls have. We want them to know they are loved and cared about by a multitude of people, not just the 4 of us.
Our festivities this year included a family reunion on hubby’s side, 2 guests on Christmas Eve, 10 guests on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve at a neighbor’s (where everyone was new), and an open house party for 30 on New Years Day.
It was miraculous. The Captain did not just survive the season, he soared. He greeted people, he thanked people, he used his words, he sat with Mommy when worried, he smiled, he slept well every night. The only hint that anything was not per usual was some misbehavior directed at his older sisters.
In fact, his speech delay– believed to be a part of his attachment issue rather than physiological– improved by leaps and bounds over the 2 week break from school. I had been so worried about him backsliding during the break from both school and private speech therapy. His burgeoning confidence in his place in our family showed up in his sudden ability to speak in full sentences without prompting– a huge leap forward. His teacher remarked that he seemed to “grow up” over the break.
I knew it could have gone another way. I had informed all our potential guests that I reserved the right to cancel at short notice if it all turned out to be too much for the Littles, especially the Captain. But rather than crash and burn as I’d worried, he flew– in fact, he soared.
It was beautiful to behold.
Photo credit: Dreena T