People often say that one of the hardest things about having children with additional needs is not having an accurate “yardstick”; a way of knowing when to expect certain achievements. Be it walking, talking or their understanding of certain things in their lives, nobody can say it should occur between x and y with any certainty. So, for Jodi and I, considering when the girls would understand Christmas/Father Christmas etc was one such unknown.
In the build up to Christmas this year I can honestly say it was one of the most magical experiences of my life so far. Finlay, at the age of almost 8, was extremely excited and this rubbed off on the girls in the most heartwarming way. The girls had an advent calendar which, despite the morning Chocolate rush, became a ‘giddy’ part of each morning. Added to this we had “Freddie” the Christmas elf who would form part of the pre-breakfast routine. Finding him, wondering and discovering what mischief he had been up to, was so funny and really made the magic come to life.
The girls played an active part in the school nativity, we did Winter Wonderland at the Trafford Centre with our fantastic family and the girls were also part of the Christingle Service nativity on Christmas Eve at Grandma’s church. The build up was incredibly busy but with each event came the realisation that the girls were beginning to understand Christmas. It was amazing.
The morning itself was magical. The family weren’t up mega early, Fin being the fist one up at about 7am, he led us all downstairs and into the lounge. Amazement, Shock, and Marvel are just three of the emotions that were evident on the face of the girls as they saw the gifts that were wrapped and ready to open. Cuddles and kisses were a plenty and it made all the apprehension and nervousness disappear.
As a parent there is no better feeling than being able to provide such an experience for your children, irrespective of any additional needs. It costs absolutely nothing to embrace the full experience and build up to Christmas, parents must try their best to forget the hustle, bustle and stress that many complain about and use this important two or three week period to make lifelong memories. Our Children are growing up so quickly that any opportunity to “put your foot on the ball” must be grasped at each and every opportunity. Life doesn’t have a rewind button xx