Sunday, November 17, 2013

If It Makes Him Happy

I know I've written and joked a lot about wanted to burn all the things Thomas the Tank Engine related. Some days, I really do feel that way. But I don't stop my son, Morgan, from having what he loves or playing with those trains because they make him happy.

Last year, I wrote about how, one year, there were no Thomas' under the tree. Morgan freaked when he finally realized that what he'd asked for (a litany of engines) weren't going to pop up. Mom foul on my part. I was selfish and wanted a Thomas-free Christmas. I was thinking about my comfort level, not his. I was following the "Age+" and allowing it to bother me.

I wasn't thinking about how much Morgan lights up whenever he plays with his trains. Or how he can calm down when he's scripting a story.

This year, I'm being firm with people, I'm letting them know that it's Thomas or nothing- unless the boy states otherwise. Not much else interests my kid. A few people aren't very understanding, but I could care less. This holiday isn't about them- it's about the kids, and one of the kids is my son. What makes him happy is Thomas.

Besides, why waste money on something which Morgan won't play with?

That's what I always go back to. You know, if you're uncomfortable with this, send a gift card. What this autistic person in your life loves is Thomas the Tank Engine. It makes him happy, very happy. And if something brings that much joy to one kid, it can't be bad, no matter what the "age +" says on the box.

Yes, my home is beginning to resemble the Island of Sodor, but Morgan's happy. Isn't that the goal of raising a kid? Allowing them to be happy?

If you're reading this as someone who loves an autistic child, remember that, in our world, age appropriate is something mandated by parenting books or toy manufacturers who don't understand our kids. Brush that concept aside. We're only concerned about our kids being happy. They deserve that, especially during the holidays. All kids deserve happiness during the holidays.


  1. Home.Run! I still struggle with this as I stand in the middle of the toy aisles every damned year. Nik's birthday is in early December so I have so much angst about what to get. He doesn't really have a specific "thing" like, say, Thomas or Legos. It gets harder every year. Until I stop and remember what makes him happiest.

    1. And what makes him happiest is the most important thing :)

  2. I wrote a very similar blog about my youngest and her third birthday/christmas since they are just ten days apart. She loves her babies, actually baby dolls and barbies are the only thing she will play with. When people ask what to get her and I tell them dolls or barbies and they want to argue ... too bad just like her brother who loves helicopters. These are the things that make them happy and that is all that matters!

  3. Yep, I hear you on this one!!! Thomas has been our world for a loooooong time. 2 sons on the spectrum, 18 & 6. Thomas is harmless, he is fun, and the new DVDs with the computer animation is fab compared to the old model version. In fact, I think I am obsessed with Thomas the tank engine too;)