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The (HIGH) Cost of Believing

My son is 11 years old this Christmas. And he still very much believes. He believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy–you name it, he believes in it. And I LOOOOOVE his boyhood innocence. I hear a voice in the back of my head saying, “One day he won’t. Be grateful. Let him hold on as long as he likes.”

But, in reality, I am ready for the great reveal. Now, I am not suggesting that I am going to rip the proverbial band-aid off, but I’m kinda, secretly hoping that the jig is up soon.

See, there is a cost to all of this blind faith. And, no, it’s not my sanity, although that’s close. It’s actually HIS.

All of the stress of having to be “good” nearly drove my kiddo over the edge. He was so worried that he was going to end up on the naughty list, that he couldn’t get over little things like arguing with his sister (that’s a two way street, by the way), or almost using bad language (“shoot” and “crap” are ok, by the way) that he worried himself silly. He couldn’t concentrate on school work. He couldn’t sleep. He wouldn’t let himself off if he happened to do ANYTHING wrong.

Mind you, my son is a pretty good kid. He is honest and kind. He is faithful and warm. He doesn’t have much to worry about.

And we never threatened him with the “naughty list”. Nope, it was all his own doing. He decided that he was in trouble for things we didn’t even really know or care about (i.e., arguing with said sister who likes to dish it out, but really can’t take it).

So, every year, the Elf of the Shelf (ShelVES this year because, yes, I am sadist enough to have brought another one, a girl, into the house this year. In my defense, it kinda seemed lonely for the first one without a pal. But I digress…) comes and we hide it and we leave notes from it and so on and so on.

Well, Jackson decided to write a note to the elves stating that he knew that Santa was going to get him everything on his list if he was good.

So here is the part where autism likes to have fun. Most of J’s list consists of out of circulation toys from either the movie Cars, or Thomas the Tank Engine. I haven’t seen J go near a Thomas train in probably two years, but, suddenly, he wants the S.C.Ruffey with the angry face that my husband has to troll ebay for, or one particular Cars hauler that we can get from some dude in China, although there is a HUGE likelihood that it’s counterfeit and just painted onto some other car. Jackson’s interests are so limited that he fixates on toys of his past. I think really he has outgrown most toys, but the nostalgia file is such that he only THINKS he wants these toys. But, what does it matter. He wants them and he believes in order to get them he has to be on the “nice” list.

Okay, so he leaves a note for the elves asking for the toys on his list, and leaves a copy of the list. The list which contains mostly impossible to get or extremely overpriced toys. So, I explain that Santa can’t always get toys that are old because they don’t make them anymore. Jackson says, “That’s okay. Santa can make them.”

Ugh.

The “elves” respond to his note by saying that Santa may not be able to get all of the toys on his list because he has a hard time getting the models and blueprints for old toys and, also, he only has SO many elves who make toys.

This does little to sway Jackson’s belief.  “I know Santa can do it.”, he tells me.

Oh! And getting back to the “Nice List”. Every year I make a video message from Santa on the website Portable North Pole. Every year the message includes whether the child has been naughty or nice. THIS year though, THIS YEAR, I’ve gotta spend $8.99 to get Santa to say it!! So, I do it, of course, because I have to let Jackson know he doesn’t need to worry anymore about being on the nice list and, guess what?? He wouldn’t even watch the video because he was too scared of what it would say!! HA!! So, his sister watched it and told him. He still didn’t want to watch it even after that. Well that was great nine dollars well spent.

Now, my husband is left to the task of trying to not have to take a second mortgage on our house in order to not disappoint the kiddo on Christmas morning. And he does, he is. He is scouring every website he can to ensure that this boy who believes so very deeply, is not sad on Christmas.

Because that’s all we parents want…a happy kid on Christmas. And maybe a few other times a year too.

Wish me luck! Let’s hope it’s a happy day for my kiddo, and everyone!

Peace & Love,

Mom

Categories: Uncategorized

Jbear


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