Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thought of the day: never give up

Lately, a few little things have reminded me that we can never give up on our kids, never stop trying to push them ahead and expose them to all sorts of things. The fear of our attempts going wrong and failing, or simply of our efforts being wasted and useless is usually what makes me "give up".

Let's face it, we're tired! And organizing anything takes planning and efforts. So when we think it's useless because Cédric doesn't care, or fear it will go wrong, we opt out to avoid wasting our time and energy.

The best example both of that tendency we have and of it being a mistake is Halloween.
Last year, we gave up and boycotted it. The reasoning was: Cédric doesn't understand the concept, he tends to hate hats and weird clothing, making costumes difficult, and he can't eat anything the neighbours give anyways!
This year, our early conversations about Halloween were leaning towards doing the same thing and staying home. But on Sunday October 27th, we realized we were being lazy and decided we wanted to do Halloween. So off we went to find a costume, buy candy for the trick or treaters, ask Dave's parents to come over and give out candy while we went trick or treating and decorate the house. And then we decided that if we were doing this we should do it right, and we bought Cédric the chips he can eat and wrote a letter to our neighbours explaining that he can't eat anything but these chips, that he won't answer them, or say "trick or treat", or maybe even look at them, but that he does like being around people and other kids and that he LOVES chips and will enjoy getting them. We described his costume so they could recognize us and asked them to give him the attached bag of chips. We figured it would be easy for them to do that, everything was provided and if they didn't want to, we told them that was okay too.
I am so glad we made the effort!! The neighbours were all very supportive, friendly and generous. But most importantly, Cédric seemed to enjoy it. He wore his astronaut costume, including a helmet, all night. He walked door to door to 23 houses without complaining (much). He showed excitement at getting the chips. In short, he had a real Halloween! Had we been lazy we would have missed out on a great experience.

And it happened again today. As we're spending Christmas away, I haven't decorated the house on the basis that Cédric doesn't understand the concept. But today when I picked him up, there was a Christmas tree that had just been decorated. Cédric saw it right away, approached it, touched the branches and looked at the light, especially the big lit up star at the top! And now I feel lazy for not decorating and I'm planning on taking out our small LED tree and asking his grand-mother to have a tree in her house during our holidays!

All this is why I don't regret failed attempts either. On Saturday, we went to the library hoping to listen to Christmas stories and songs. Cédric would have none of it and rolled on the floor and screamed, so we left. Was it embarrassing to have some people stare? Sure. Was it disappointing to have gotten dressed and gone there for nothing? Sure. Will it stop me from taking him to a Christmas play at the high school tonight? No. If it goes badly we'll leave and if it goes well, we'll have exposed him to another fun activity in the community!

I just don't want him to miss out on anything and limit him and his growth because I'm lazy and pessimist...

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