Dear Santa, From a Special Needs Mom
As a young girl, I wrote to you with requests for toys, games, and, of course, surprises! I also want you to know I NEVER forgot to leave cookies for you and carrots for Rudolph. Those times, even though they had their struggles (I did have brothers, after all), were full of hope and joy for the future. Time has passed, hasn’t it, Santa?
And now we are in the future that we once saw so far away.
I write now as an adult and a mom. My joy and hope for the future, once felt as a young girl, came true in my children and husband. I am blessed Santa. So much more than I even thought possible. I have three amazing children who are loved more than words can say.
I say this all because, as we all look back over our shoulders to see where we were last Christmas, we can all see the many changes our lives have taken. We can see how our world has changed, the positives and the negatives.
The struggles and the time when things were going just as we wanted them to go.
Santa, life does not stay the same, and we all change and grow.
I can say our year had many wonderful memories of time spent together, laughter, tears, hugs and love as well as some tough situations, decisions and many emotions. But through it all, Santa, we grew and learned more about ourselves.
Our beautiful daughter grew this year, she tried new things this year. Some of them she loved, and some not quite so much. But the thing is, she tried them! And for her and us, that is a really big thing. Our daughter is constantly growing and learning and loving life.
She has this gift, Santa, of being able to enjoy wherever she is, to have fun and to see the good in all people. She is one of those people who seem to simply step over the dramas of life that others find themselves deeply in. It would sure be wonderful if we all could have this perspective in our days. Just think of how much calmer our hearts would be if this were true.
Santa, when you have a special child like ours, you pray the hearts of others will be kind. So that their actions or words that follow will be kind as well. Our world does not seem to have the patience and care for one another that it did years ago. The world seems more impatient and quick to anger. I would love to ask that if in some way this could be the case, I know that myself and the other moms and dads of these special children could feel so much more at ease if this were true. It is hard sometimes, Santa, to go into the world with this beautiful child and hope that others will see past their disorders, stumbling speech or unique ways to see and enjoy the beautiful child right there.
Our world today is so fast-moving, Santa, with things being done in one second that used to take hours. Things are due yesterday, and computers keep getting faster. But one thing that scares me about that is that our daughter and other children who have special needs function best in at a slower, calmer pace. I ask myself how she will keep up in this world. How will we get the world to slow down enough for her to be part of it all? For her to be able to enjoy her life.
I would ask that somehow, someway, there will be a special friend, mentor, or leader who would reach out their hand to her and other special children to kind of help them when they need that support or when the world is just a bit too much for them.
I would ask for these special people for each special child—someone to be their genuine friend.
So many things go on in my mind about Elizabeth and Santa; sometimes the thoughts keep me awake, and sometimes they make me cry, but I pray a lot, in fact, and I know that God is with us all. In the good times, the tough times, and the times when we simply need to hold onto the fact that he works all things for our good. But sometimes, Santa, I just would love to peek into the future, if I was allowed, to just know that she will be okay. I know this is quite the request and probably the same request that all moms and dads of special needs children feel…actually probably all regardless. But it would be my special request anyway. To know that she will be happy, safe and still be loving life at any age.
Santa, know that my special child has taught us and continues to teach us, each and everyday so very much about life and love and joy and appreciation of all the little things in life. She is a gift, Santa. One I never anticipated having and one I would not exchange. She is simply love.
Well, I guess I better go now Santa. You have so much to do, and I thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. There is joy, Santa, in the midst of everything.
Merry Christmas to you…see you next year.
Your old friend,