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To the Loved Ones who Don't Get Why We Leave Holiday Dinners Early

Right around this time of the year, I start to get a warm feeling coursing through my blood. I love everything about the holidays - the sights, the smells and most definitely the foods. Most importantly I love watching the utter joy light up my son Brock's face. There's not much that can really put that look on his face, but the holiday season sure does.

My holiday season looks much different then what I imagined when Brock was born. I imagined we’d spend days traveling back and forth between families and gorging ourselves on endless amounts of food. I imagined we’d spend hours upon hours relaxing in the comfort of relatives’ homes, sharing and reminiscing about years past.

That didn't happen, though. My son has autism and sensory processing disorder, and my idea of what makes holidays wonderful has changed significantly. The hardest part wasn't putting my holiday dreams to the wayside, but having to defend myself at every turn to family members and friends who just don't understand the importance of limiting time for Brock or not being able to attend things at all.

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