We’ve Never Visited Santa

We’ve never visited Santa. He’s never asked me for the coolest toy. We’ve never baked cookies together.

He’s never made a Christmas list. Or sang in a Christmas pageant. No snow mans or Elf on the Shelf.

For so many years, Christmas was just another day. He didn’t acknowledge the tree or decorations.

He didn’t open presents. Or wake up early to see what Santa brought.

I used to get sad. Holidays were hard. I had a little boy who was oblivious. And not only was he oblivious, holidays were really hard for him as well.

And we would never force him into a stressful situation. Not ever. So we avoided most things holiday too.

I’ve always hoped. And prayed. That one day, just maybe, he’d care.

Today, we decorated the Christmas tree for the 8th time since he was born.

Cooper refused to get out of the car while we picked out the tree. We didn’t force him. He watched his Kindle and held his paper while his brothers, dad and I picked out the perfect tree.

But as soon as we got home he played the Christmas episode of Max and Ruby on his Kindle, pausing it on the decorated tree. He gently grabbed my face, pointed to the still image of the tree and gasped. And clapped. He was ready to decorate. That was definitely excitement.

He watched us put up the tree, string the lights, and reminded us more than a dozen times that we forgot the star. He absolutely loves the star.

When we were done he gasped and clapped again. And immediately sat in front of the tree. He loved it.

He’s never made a Christmas list. Or even asked me for a present. But today he studied his snow globe of Santa for a long time. And later, got my attention, and showed me Santa in a book. He pointed to the words and touched my lips, nonverbally asking me to read them.

The words read, ‘Santa is coming tonight.’ I giggled and told him no. Not for a long time. He made an ‘uggg’ sound and ran off. That was clearly disappointment.

He’s never asked me for a thing. Well, besides a snack and a juice. But he sure loves opening presents.

Actually, he adores it. I know because he found the Christmas gift bags and added them to his treasures. Every so often he points inside. He knows.

I don’t know what the future holds. Not at all. No more than I knew 8 years ago.

But I do know we are moving forward. We are figuring this stuff out. We are balancing hope with reality.

I hope that one day he talks my ear off about what he wants for Christmas. And if it doesn’t happen, well, I guess that’s okay too.

Because for now, I am overjoyed that he loves our tree. That’s enough.

This right here is enough.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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