The Holiday Recap, and Happy 2011

Christmas has come and gone.  My mother remarked, and she’s absolutely right, that Christmas comes in with a roar and fades away quietly.  And quiet was what we had for Christmas, blissfully.

I picked up Tim from “school” on the 23rd, and he was packed and eager to go.  He made a mention of Thanksgiving and the rough go we had then, and I dismissed it – no need to dredge it up, I told him.  This was a new day.  He seemed relaxed and we had a pleasant drive home.  My parents, who are usually in the Southwest this time of year, escaping the cold, stayed through the holiday, arriving at our house on Christmas Eve.  We had a low key dinner, watched It’s a Wonderful Life (one of my faves) and hit the sack early, anticipating Santa’s arrival.  The kids, no longer little, don’t have quite the excitement of Christmas morning that they had in elementary school, so the grown-ups were able to get a cup of coffee and a few moments of quiet before the onslaught of presents began.  But the eventually came down, begrudgingly allowing me to snap the annual “kids in front of the tree” picture before opening their gifts, which I can’t get out of my camera, but will post when I do.
We declared it “stay in your PJ’s day” and lounged around, playing games, watching movies, and eating way too many sweets.  We worked together as a family to create our traditional Christmas dinner of prime rib and risotto.  Yummy – and no leftovers!  
The kids got a bunch of cash and gift cards from aunts and uncles so we went out and braved the stores on the 26th.  It was nearly a very short trip.  Went to Kohl’s first because my daughter wanted to get some new boots with a gift card, and Tim was alternately bored by waiting for his sister and agitated by the money burning a hole in his pocket.  I let him wander around the store by himself for a while, and he came back a few minutes later with a watch in his hand.  “I wanna buy this watch,” he declared.  It was an ordinary watch, nothing special and not too expensive, but Tim has two watches and has lost at least three over the past six months.  I told him, “I’d rather you didn’t, because you have two watches already.”  I reminded him that we weren’t out spending money just for spending money’s sake, and I asked him to look at some other things.  
He stormed off.
My mom was with us and she tensed up a bit as I drew a deep breath.  I decided, forget it – he can’t get very far, we were at least 15 miles from home, and rather than confront him and create a potential scene, I’d let him blow off steam.  The worst that would happen is that he’d buy the watch.  We went on looking at boots, and when my daughter had picked a pair she liked, we headed for the registers.  I saw Tim, 100 yards away, and said, “Tim….” he turned and came towards us, sans watch, apologized for taking off, and we checked out and went on our way.  Crisis averted.  
We declared movie day on the 27th, since it’s been cold and snowy here.  The three kids went together to see Tron 2 and the adults saw The King’s Speech (which I recommend highly).  Tim usually loves the movies for the popcorn, more than the film, but he was complaining about a stomach ache.  I hate when he complains about that particular symptom because it has been his “go to” illness when he is avoiding, but I think the Clozaril is really doing a number on his stomach.  Our pediatrician refuses to deal with symptoms that may be side effects of his psych meds (grrrr), so, note to self, I need to let his psychiatrist know that it has been a problem for him while he’s been home.  This is why psych meds suck so much.  He’s had more stability and dampening of psychotic symptoms on Clozaril than on any other med, but it’s really hard on his stomach, not to mention liver.  It’s like Sophie’s Choice – heavy duty psychosis, or digestive issues?  
My parents started their drive to the Southwest on the 28th, and Tim and his sister got along famously, playing games and watching a movie.  We kept the 29th mellow as well, hanging around the house.  Tim went back to school on the 30th.

Yesterday I got a call from his counselor – Tim apparently was fighting his psychosis harder than it appeared while he was home, and he’s starting to unravel back at school.  It’s that time of year, but it is still breaking my heart.  He’s pacing, talking to himself, refusing to shower, layering to extreme levels.  Every year, when we hit this time of year, it still takes the wind out of me that all the meds and therapies still fail him, every winter.  I talked to Tim last night, and he was proud of himself that he’d showered, and he was off to the movies.  He’d turned the day around, through sheer willpower.

So -that’s our holiday recap – I hope 2011 brings you and your family stability, success, and joy.  This year, my goal is to take joy in the little things, not hide out (which I have a tendency to do), and blog at least once a week.  Stay warm!

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