This was a very different Christmas for me and my family this year. Between Bill's joblessness and me getting sick the week before Christmas, I didn't do half of what I normally do. The list is as follows:
No gingerbread house.
No baking dozens and dozens of cookies for neighbors.
I didn't get most of the ornaments on the tree. Very sparse looking this year. Oh well.
The rest of the inside of our house was skipped this year in terms of holiday decor, except for a few candles.
We didn't go to see the holiday lights at the Botanical Gardens or anywhere else.
We didn't entertain this year, as we normally like to do.
We forgot to do the Advent wreath.
We didn't do the Adornaments tradition (you might not know what this is, but we have tried to do these)
We didn't have a sit down Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner using my silver and china.
We didn't make it to the annual Christmas Cousin's Party because we were snowed in.
I forget to stuff the stockings for our pets.
But in spite of all of these undone things, we enjoyed Christmas. Maybe even a little more than usual. What we did get to do this year together was build a huge, real igloo in the backyard, which the kids will remember more than another gingerbread house because we never get snow like that. But I would like to revisit some of our traditions next year. But some of the craziness we can leave behind. Bring on the snow anytime!
About our Daughter
I am mother to four wonderful daughters, ages 13, 16, 17 and 20, and wife to the greatest husband on earth. God has given us a special child to raise one who was diagnosed with early-onset bipolar disorder at the age of seven, though she showed signs of it from the age of fifteen months. She also has ADHD, Sensory Integration Disorder (sensory seeking), Dyslexia, and Non-Verbal Learning Disorder-NOS, all typical comorbidities for a bipolar child. She is in the very challenging teen years, and she is attempting a big public high school for the first time. In spite of the trials, she enjoys lacrosse, running, and reading and writing her own books. I will share with you the many joys and sorrows we have faced and will face in the future with the hope that you may find better understanding about this mental illness caused by both chemical and structural abnormalities in the brain. I desire that you will be encouraged by this blog if you are also dealing with a bipolar child. Thank you for reading and sharing in our journey.
How Did You Know She Was Bipolar So Young?
I wrote a long explanation of how we came to this bipolar diagnosis in a child so young under my post of March 19th of 2009. If your child or a child you know bears similarities, please seek out a good psychiatrist and don't wait for "things to get better." Often they will simply get worse, and the longer a child is unmedicated, the more damage their brain can accrue. Early diagnoses and treatment are key to providing these children with a chance at a successful life later as a teen and an adult.