Christmas always has and always will be my Favorite holiday. I love celebrating the birth of Jesus and what that meant to us as a World. I love that people seem to act a little nicer, happier, more hopeful, and generally more....Jolly. There are so many events to keep us busy this time of year. Some of my favorite outings is going to the local Craft (crap) Fairs. Lots of Ladies carrying large crafty items as they struggle to see if the next vendor has yet one more thing they can't live without. I attended my 2nd Craft (crap) Fair today with a friend. We left the kids at home with their Dads and off we went. There were lots of cool Americana home furnishings. It took lots of self control to not get one of everything in there. I did manage to find a few Christmas gifts, along with a Christmas dress for Ansley. It was a fun morning. I saw that Santa was there too. As we were leaving the Fair, I bought some raffle tickets. On the way home, I got a call that I had won. I got home and told Freddie that I needed to go back to get my prize. No one wanted to go back with me. Then I mentioned that Santa was there. Ethan jumped up, ran and grabbed his shoes. "I'll go!" he said VERY excitedly.
Last year we could not get him to go near the Easter Bunny or the "Normal" Santa. We had to take Ethan to a Sensitive Santa event. This event was held on a Sunday morning in the mall. All of the mall lights were dimmed. No music played...it was eerily quiet. There was no flash photography used. All of the elves understood. They obviously had been trained to work with autistic children. This was such a thoughtful event. Taking a child with autism into a mall, during Christmas is a feat all its own. The lights blinking, the loud music, the strong scents, then sitting with a strange old guy to get your picture made...with a ka BOOM flash of the camera - it's just too much. So Sensitive Santa was a blessing. We got in line and watching as it got so long that it went all the way down the mall and around the corner. I kept thinking "there are SO many of us. This has got to end." Autism can make you feel isolated and like you are the only ones dealing with this. It is moments like this that make you wish that it could only be us. We saw lots of kids that were all over the spectrum as far as severity. I kept thinking how Blessed we are. "IT" can always be worse.
So Ethan and I arrived at the Craft (crap) Fair. He kept repeating "Santa is here Mom, right? He's here. He will say "Hi Ethan! How are you? Are you naughty or nice?"
We went in and Ethan's face LIT UP! Before we even got to Santa, Ethan waved at him. Santa waved back. You could see Ethan's eyes light up. He was SOOOO very happy. Ethan has NEVER been happy to see Santa. Today he was. We walked up and no other kids were waiting, so we had extra time. Ethan went right up to Santa and said 'Hello.' He then crawled up in Santa's lap. He started talking about Transformers as he gently touched the fur on Santa's coat. You could see his mind going. "He is real" is what I imagined he was thinking. That look of joy and excitement is a far cry from the spooked manner in which he used to approach characters.
We got our picture. Ethan and Santa. Holding the proof...I think Ethan floated to the car. He got to tell Santa he wanted the new Transformer toys, so that should 'seal the deal.'
So while Ethan has been present for 7 Christmases, this will be more like his 1st because he understands what we are doing and why. And with Ansley being 2 (almost 3) she will really understand it this year. What an EXCITING time at our house! I love my Sweet Babies!!!