So Beautiful.

I love watching J, whether it’s reading his books or watching his movies. How his face changes so dramatically while he looks, watches, ponders and analyzes what he is seeing. It’s his eyebrows, his mouth along with his eyes that carry all of his emotions so fantastically.

His eyebrows when they are all crunched up or in high arches for what he is pondering or getting excited about. His mouth with a smile or a large O for what is bringing him happiness or from the not knowing what is about to happen. And then there are his eyes that crinkle with myth and laughter which also makes his cheeks go quite round with happiness or when they fill with tears from a mistreatment or injustice that is being done to one of his beloved characters.

His face is truly his communication device; happiness, amusement, excitement, indifference, sadness, tiredness, despair and anger all reside so easily and true without complication on his little face.

There’s also other communication triggers to watch with J that show his emotions so readily. The flapping of his hands, the shaking of his head, the wiggling of his toes or the sprinting from the room because his anxiety about what he is soon to see for the hundredth time gets to the better of him.

There’s also the reaching for our hand to hold, the covering of his eyes or the request for a gentle head squeeze to help him regulate his emotions that may have become too much.

It has taken us years to understand how J’s emotions show themselves and even though we have learned a lot, there is still so much we are learning every day about how he sees the world around him, how he then interprets it, and then how he displays these feelings.

Watching J is a very fun hobby of mine, something that will never get old. My absolute favorite emotion, which no human being should never not be able to smile at, is J’s simple head thrown back belly laughter. It is absolutely contiguous and so beautiful.

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Santa?

It’s not that I don’t believe in Santa, I do with my whole heart. I love Santa and what he represents; the spirit of the Christmas season, the joy that comes to the faces of both little kids & big kids, and all the excitement that is to be had for the jolly old man. Yet for our little family, we are on quite a different path of celebrating Santa than most.

J has never been excited for Santa or for him to come Christmas Eve. I’m not even sure he truly understands the concept of the Christmas season, let alone Santa. To him it’s just another day of getting up, getting ready, eating his pop tart & drinking his chocolate milk while watching PBS kids.

J has never wanted to sit on Santa’s lap. He’s never wanted to visit him or to tell him what he really wants for the big day. It’s rather a screaming fit if we go anywhere near the white bearded man.

J has never wanted to write a letter to Santa or has even asked us to help him do so. No North Pole letters coming from our home. No letters explaining how he’s been good or a list of what toys or books he wants this year.

In fact, J has never been able to show or tell us what he’d like for Christmas, or even his birthday (which is also this month). He’s unable to communicate his desires for gifts and again, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t understand the point of presents. It has taken him years to be okay with unwrapping a gift and even now he can only partake so long due to sensory issues. It’s gift bags for us. All I really want is to find that one gift , just one, that when J sees it his faces lights up with excitement. Maybe this will be the year.

So all of this Santa business isn’t J’s cup of tea and even though our Christmas traditions are nowhere close to what we experienced growing up, we’ve tried to make the holiday season special just for us. It hasn’t been easy, but we focus on the aspects J does enjoy instead of the ones he doesn’t. The Muppets Christmas Carol movie is a staple in our household, walking through all the Menards Christmas decorations multiple times on our visits is a must, and enjoying the heck out of our new Christmas Santa clock tower that lights up and plays music is a daily if not hourly occurrence (thank gosh is has an off switch!).

Though we don’t celebrate Santa as I enjoyed doing growing up, our ways of celebrating are just as important & special.