Capture the moment

I could go on and on about Christmas morning. I could write words that could capture what I watched. However, I think these 28 seconds capture what I have been wishing for since they day I met Sawyer. For these 28 seconds, Sawyer was a boy surrounded by his family. A family that loves him. Take a look but more importantly, take a listen.

This is what the holidays are all about. Wishing all of you love, peace, and happiness.

Discovering Santa

I’m the master of loving the holiday season but if it wasn’t for my wife, Kellie, I don’t know if the menorah would be found or if a tree would be put up. Luckily for me, she is on top of this and pretty much everything in our home.

In the house I was raised, we celebrated Hanukkah so I spent my childhood being annoyed that I didn’t celebrate Christmas. It drove me nuts. I almost considered interviewing Rabbi’s in Southern New Hampshire to see if it would be kosher to just get a tree and have presents under it like everyone else.

Fast forward to having my own family, I was adamant to enjoy Christmas at any cost. I’m talking a real tree, ornaments, lights, tinsel, egg nog, and presents! Lots of presents!

I just thought it was so easy to understand. You make a list, you decorate, you sit on Santa’s lap at the mall and when the kids go to bed, you watch A Christmas Story.

Here was the thing. Sawyer didn’t get it. He didn’t get Santa. He didn’t care about Rudolph. He really didn’t care about presents.

December was just another month to him. Christmas was just another day. It felt like he was getting robbed of another thing. The heartache in watching your child not care about what the majority of the child population was just that final end of the year punch to the gut.

We tried. We went to see Santa. We encouraged Sawyer to open presents beside his brother and sister. Though the spark wasn’t there.

It wasn’t there at 2, nor 3, not a 4, hardly at 5, but at age 6, we’ve made it!!!! Not only does Sawyer know what’s happening, he’s counting down the days!

He opens his Advent Calendar! He builds gingerbread houses! He searches for his Elves on the Shelf! He even made a list!

So if you are celebrating this holiday season, think of Sawyer. He has discovered the magic that I’ve been searching for all along.

Exceeded Expectations

When it has come to Sawyer universally, I had a measuring stick that continues to be invisible. I tend to get neither too high or too low as I refuse to compare him to his peers, his siblings, or even others on the spectrum. It’s not fair to him and quite frankly, it’s energy that I have learned not to exert.

It hasn’t always been that way though. I wanted Sawyer to be someone he wasn’t for a long time. It was like I made myself a force field for him. I wanted to protect him before any situation. If someone asked him a question, I wanted to answer it for him so I didn’t have to explain what made him different. I thought I was being helpful but I found myself more focused on me than on him.

As we are close to the end of 2017, I see so many changes in him and myself. It’s almost like my force field has evaporated and I can finally let him be who he is.

He’s almost 7 now. It’s hard to admit that. It’s hard to take in that he isn’t little anymore. He’s a first grader doing first grade things. He’s not like everyone else but that doesn’t matter. I find myself viewing him as not different and just viewing him as Sawyer.

He isn’t the 5 year old who would turn pages of a book and just recognize letters. He’s the near 7 year old who is using his knowledge of site words to help him sound out words he doesn’t know. Don’t look now but we are witnessing a novice reader!

Gone is the 4 year old who would just walk past the lights of a Christmas tree. He is now actively trying to figure out when Santa is coming as he pulls puzzles out to do out of his Advent Calendar.

The days of just wanting to watch the same Mickey episode has been replaced with a collection of shows, characters, and movies.

Instead of not knowing how to play, he will go find his train set and build train tracks.

This is Sawyer now. He may have exceeded some of my expectations but he has taught me to not worry about setting any because he will always find a way to surpass them.

I love you pal.