Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baptisms and funerals and weddings, oh my!

As we prepare for the funeral of my grandfather, making travel arrangements, laying out dressy clothes, looking for pictures, there is a whole other set of plans to make. What do we do with Katie? Now I know funerals are not a lot of fun for anyone, especially children, but with Katie, it is a whole different ball game.

Katie understands death, she understands heaven, and she loved my grandfather very much. Katie just cannot handle any big, formal event that involves emotions of any kind. This also includes baptisms and weddings. I know what you are thinking, isnt Katie the party planner? Won't she want to be where all the action is? I really don't understand her fears about these things at all. I know she doesn't like to hear babies cry, so that's why she won't go to baptisms. She also doesn't like to see people kiss, so she won't go to weddings. I suppose the whole concept of people being sad and crying scares her away from the funerals.

As soon as we got the news about my grandfather, she started freaking out. I knew immediately what she was worried about, so I assured her that she wouldn't have to go with us. She would not calm down, however, until we talked to my in-laws to make sure she could stay with them. Problem solved? I wish it was that easy. The whole day she followed me around, obsessing over plans, working herself up into a frenzy. The most difficult part about it was that I couldn't really stop and mourn, because if she saw me break down, she would really start freaking out. So I had to hold it together all day, as I tried to make our plans and arrangements, she trailed after me, questioning me every few minutes.

Katie feels really bad that she isn't going with us. She is very concerned about my mother, and my grandmother, and feels sad for them. She is also worried that everyone is going to be mad at her for not attending the funeral, so I had to reassure her (over and over) that everyone would understand. And I know they will. Everyone in my family and my husbands family are very gracious when it comes to Katie. They all love her very much, and are generous with helping us out with whatever they can.

All our bags are now packed, I have ironed and arranged and prepared and made a million phone calls. Katie has her own bags packed, with her snacks and clothes and toys, all ready to stay the night at her other grandmas house. She will behave herself, I know she will, but I will worry the whole time we are gone. But I know for a fact that I would not be able to properly say goodbye to my grandpa if Katie was there. Sometimes our Adventures in Autism take us in opposite directions.

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