I know have not written to you in quite a while. I am not sure if you remember me but I am now the mother of a child with special needs. I used to ask you about Mrs. Claus and the reindeer but now I have quite different thoughts.
We have a daughter who is really quite special, she is our middle child. Kind of bookended between two loving and supportive siblings. Although she has special needs and has as much love as we can give her, we cannot give her what we want to and that is a life that is typical. A life not filled with hard work each day. A life where she does not have to be afraid or scared. A life where a trip to the park or zoo is seen as fun and exciting, not as scary and full of anxiety, we want that for her Santa, but try as we might we cannot take away these disorders. She has Sensory Processing Disorder and Dyspraxia, Santa, which means that each day is work for her. She must try to figure out how to do each new thing, try to organize her thoughts and activities to move from one task to another. She works hard each day.
I know we have tried to make her life as fun as possible, Santa, but it is hard for us to think that her one chance at a carefree childhood was spent in therapies and working so hard to catch up. With that thought in mind, I will begin my wish list. I ask for the strength to teach her well this year. To talk gently and to think first. I also ask for the forgiveness when I don’t teach, talk or think the way I should. It is just that these disorders do not quit. I know we have done the best that we can with each day but some days Santa, are just SO bad. I ask that I can let that day go and move on with strength to the next day and try my best again.
On this journey, we have met so many therapists and friends, and I ask that somehow they know that their life’s work had made a difference in many many lives and that we thank them for sharing their gifts with our child.
It is very challenging to raise our child in a world that does not always accept those who are special. I must ask now for you to somehow give the world tolerance and patience for those who do not fit into the world’s definition of “normal” I hope those who see us working with our child in a public place can place a smile on their face, that they will look at us and want to help us not judge us. Maybe you could let them know that asking us what is wrong and how they can help won’t upset us…it may just make us cry in relief. I know that is a very big request but I wanted to ask.
I love my child more than I can say to you or anyone else who asks me. She has wonderful gifts Santa! She has such love and kindness. She has taught us all so much about what love really means and we are so thankful God has entrusted her to us. I ask a happy Christmas for her and all the other special children this year. Parents of children who have special needs face so much. I ask that somehow they know just how special and wonderful they are.
I know when you read this list you will have wished I asked for a toy and a book, but I thank you for reading my list. and I know you will do you best for us.
Just like we will do our best for our children. Now…next year…and forever.
Thank you, Santa