Thanksgiving – New Traditions

Thanksgiving – New Traditions

Because we had such a sad Thanksgiving in the past we had to make a new, unique, fun tradition. We have found the best place to go for our family Thanksgiving is a local indoor waterpark. We have gone to the same place for a few years now and it is pretty familiar to him. He took a friend for his birthday but we usually don’t take any one for Thanksgiving. This year they discussed that he should come for Thanksgiving too. I can’t begin to express the depth of my delight/gratitude when his friend’s mom said he could go with us for Thanksgiving.

His friend going makes the trip so much more special. My son and his friend seem to get a long really well. His friend never complains when my son asks for a break and they seem to compromise with each other about choices of activities.

He has always loved water and when he was younger I invested a small fortune on swimming lessons because he was not appropriately scared of the water (sound familiar?) he tried swim team but didn’t like it and had many meltdowns before we gave up. The actual indoor waterpark is noisey and crowded. He has come out having a meltdown many times. Even if tried to figure out when he would melt it didn’t matter. He could be in 5 minutes and melt. Over years he finally is able to go in for couple hours and then takes break. His friend really good about taking breaks when my son needs to.

One of the best things at the waterpark is they have a wonderful Thanksgiving buffet. They even have a kids buffet table but he won’t eat anything on it. He will only eat the ham and he looks forward to it every year. Last year they did not have ham and he continues to mention how they need to have ham.

I debated about calling and finding out how to ensure that we would have ham. Other than school I rarely ever ask for any accommodations. Maybe it is because he was just recently diagnosed with Asperger’s or maybe it is because he has always tried to fit in. This year I was really debating about calling and explaining the situation. I kept thinking about a recent episode of Dexter. (Sorry the f-bomb is dropped in the following quotes. I can’t edit quotes from Dexter, I just can’t.)

Angel: “Lie to Deb? No way.”
Quinn: “So you’re just gonna turn your back on your partner?”
Angel: “Oh, no no no no. Do not play the partner card.”
Quinn: “Of course I’m gonna play the partner card. Why wouldn’t I play the partner card? Situations like this are exactly why the partner card is in the fucking deck!”

Quinn is not someone I would usually take advice from. (If you don’t watch Dexter I highly recommend it)

But in this case he had the right idea. Out whole holiday happiness depends on him getting ham. So I decided to call and play the “Autism card” She assured me that it would be written on our voucher that he needed ham. They were very nice about it.

Although we called we were still relieved when we arrived that they had ham. Although they should be relieved because I was prepared to battle. The chef at the ham carving station was very nice and even let me tell him how to cut the ham. I said I was sorry but I had a picky kid. He said no worries, he was a kid once too. I just smiled. My kid was happy with his ham. I would have done anything for that.

After dinner they decided to go to the arcade to win tickets. They play together so much they always split the tickets. His friend won a jackpot and my son was trying to sort out the tickets. They had to be folded perfectly. He commented the machine should have a ticket organizer. After taking the picture I helped him set it up so they would organize themselves. He thanked me 🙂

In the end they ended up with 1618 tickets so my son declared they each get 809. His friend had to use a calculator to check and was dismayed my son did it so fast in his head. That was only the beginning. My son only wanted candy so I talked him into spending less so his friend would get more. He agreed and bought three items, each costing 200. The clerk scanned the items and told them they had 1020 left. This started a whole thing for my son.

It has been a long time since I saw rainman so I am not sure what all is offensive about it. I keep meaning to watch it again. Not only to see what is offensive but also because the clips I have seen recently of Dustin Hoffman talking are how my son talks and does calculations.

1020 did not calculate. I was quietly trying to keep up with what he was saying and reassuring him they meant to give him the extra two. My son was finally okay with it and the clerk caught on to what I said. The clerk then said “I wasn’t wrong”. Oh crap. My son must have been calm by then because he didn’t say anything and the clerk just said he rounded up. My son said “Right” Phew no meltdown and everyone okay.

Finally the boys finished we went back to the room. No meltdowns! Great dinner and a great day 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving I you are in the states.



  1. It’s so great that you built Thanksgiving around him to make him happy and it sounds like it worked.


  1. […] for all of us. This year was actually really good and you can read about our Thanksgiving holiday here. He did really good, we let him decide when he needed a break and the whole day went really well. […]

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