For the 4th of July we decided to stay home. Why? Over the years we have found that The Boy can tolerate some fireworks, but he needs to feel safe about it. So many think of dogs and our veterans – but my Boy suffers too. Our dogs are easy. They just need some Lavender essential oil. My Boy? He needs to have a place that he can run to in order to get away from the fireworks when he needs to. He needs to not be bombarded with too much too quickly. He also needs to be watched like a hawk to make sure he doesn’t run too close to the fireworks.
Now that we know all of this, and now that fireworks are legal in NY – we just stay home and do our own! We don’t wait until dark because I don’t want cranky kids. And of course everyone is happy when we maintain The Boy’s schedule. A holiday is no fun if you are battling a meltdown. The idea is to do something that the whole family can enjoy. The Boy is part of the family. Just because he has Autism, that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be included. Including him is more important than any tradition or preconceived notion about anything I can think of.
So we didn’t split the family up and send some to go watch the big fireworks and others stay home. We didn’t force any children to participate in an activity that they didn’t find enjoyable.
What we did do was make some amazing memories.
My Teen, who really would have missed seeing the ‘big’ fireworks, was thrilled that he was able to light a few. My Daughter was over the moon that she got to pick the order of the fireworks. The Toddler was giddy with excitement that he was able to be the ‘fireman’ and help wet the fireworks after they were set off. And of course The Boy was happy that he could come out and watch some, or run into the house for a little while to get away from them if he needed to. Hubby and I paid close attention to which fireworks The Boy liked to watch and which ones he did not. I can’t wait for next year!