Chanukah with Avdi and the kids is my best one yet. You can guess from their faces, they were getting into it, too! It’s a real teaching moment, because they have so many questions about their Jewishness. The gifts may just be a minor concession to xmas, but the delight in lighting candles together, opening their little gifts and gelt, playing dreidel all evening (trying to find the “loaded” gimel ones), and enjoying Chanukah latkes for Shabbat, were priceless. It also brought the kids together without outright warfare, for the moment. I think they and I got closer, too.
I think I misspoke about them getting calmer, though. The more consistent quantity time I spend there, the more I witness more of those extreme meltdowns over seemingly negligible incidents. I see how Avdi gets so chronically exhausted. At the same time, I get to observe and learn appropriate methods of dealing with them. Working with ND kids, helping them learn to handle and manage their overwhelming reactions to sensory, emotional, and social difficulties, is a longterm process. You’re building trust, and modeling how to function and cope in the real world. There are no shortcuts.
Gotta wrap this up and head back into the fray–bearing more small tchotchkes, of course.