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Do You Believe In Magic…

Written By: teamcharliebear - Dec• 21•13


I know it’s been a good while since I’ve updated the page, and for that I apologize. Hopefully I can summarize before this becomes a novel size update..Heh, we shall see! Like it often is, life has been quite busy. I call this “Living at the warp speed of dumbass”. Although, that maybe a more accurate description of Nashville traffic now that I think of it…

Work has been fantastic! Have I mentioned how much I love my job? It rarely feels like work to me. I meet the most wonderful parents daily. Whether it’s a phone call from a worried mother or father searching for a lifeline to help their child. Or just sitting at my desk trading stories with the parents waiting while their child gets services. I am never at a loss for inspiration in this maze of autism that we are journeying through. These parents remind me of where I once was, where I am now, and what I hope to one day achieve. The dedication, relentless devotion, and unwavering stamina they possess is nothing short of extraordinary. I’m constantly learning something new, and for that I am truly grateful.

imageI have discovered the world to be full of more help than hate. Sure there are those that need to learn, but all to often I’m encountering those who are willing to. This past weekend was a fine example in just this kind of acceptance and generosity. Three weeks ago, I had been searching for hours online for an event like I had read about. You see, my kids had never been to see Santa. The limitations of ASD greatly to blame. Malls are overcrowded, noisy and a virtual hell for people living with the disorder…on a good day! Christmas hustle and bustle, sights and smells would make anyone with sensory issues the perfect candidate for a full blown meltdown. As a mother, you learn to avoid these at all cost. Bill Cosby once said “We as parents don’t care about justice. We care about quiet!”. This leaves those of us with children both on and off the spectrum in a precarious position. How do we supply for the typical child and protect the sensitivity of the spectrum child at the same time? Often times it’s the needs and wants of the typical children that get left behind. They have to be understanding, too grown up at their age just to accommodate. It isn’t fair, but it is just how things have to be. Not this year! I know that these events exist. You typically hear about them after the fact, where Santa came to a mall before it opened to visit with just these kinds of families. “Special Santas” who are sensitive to the needs of these diversified children. It was a fabulous idea, and apparently it was impossible for me to find! Two hours on the internet had proven it so, until…

imageI decided to use the power of social media. I asked my friends if they had heard of one of these coming to our area. What I got in return was nothing short of a miracle. They hadn’t, but this one person had a suit, and then another knew of a Santa. Before two hours was up a photographer had offered his time (free of charge) to take pics for our families! I was in awe. I had only wanted to advertise the event to our families at The Autism Foundation of Tennessee. Yet, now it looked as though I might be able to host the thing with an army of volunteers! The founder of AFT was on board with it being there and before the day was over one of my friends dropped off 120 candy canes for Santa to give away. I came into work the next day, still unsure if we had a Santa until I checked my messages. A darling couple I grew up with was doing a Christmas play. The man was playing Santa in the play and was officially one of santa’s helpers. “We want to help make your dream come true, what do you need?” It bears mentioning that not one of these volunteers has children on the spectrum. They just gave their time and resources for those of us who do. Now, I know I’m an adult pushing 40, but after ALL this? I dare you to tell me that Santa doesn’t exist!

imageThe mall events? They usually open thirty whole minutes early to let a few families do this, by appointment only. Us? We had a four hour block window dedicated to ANYONE who showed up. Crafts kept the kids busy while they waited, bracelets were made by friends of mine (E&L paracord). They were given to kids and parents at no charge. We had games overseen in our sensory room by a fabulous ABA, and each family got a private, quiet visit with our clauses. Yes, Mrs. Claus was there too. Charlie and Abigail got to see Santa for the first year ever at ages 7 & 9 …and I was one happy Rudolph. It was a magical day. Yes, I believe in Santa and Mrs. Claus. I also believe that acceptance of autism is alive and well, and growing by leaps and bounds. Can you blame me?

imageBefore I close this years final post… I wanted to mention a special elf that was there for all of this. My boyfriend, William Smith, who would no doubt rather have been watching football. Not only was he there, but the darling man wore an elf headband and vest for hours. All I did was mention it and he never complained. Not about the jingly bells, but anything else for that matter. To further sweeten his appeal he had a conversation with another mom while I was running around the AFT with my nose all aglow. I only just learned about this, but she asked him if he had any kids. He told her “no, but I will have a couple very soon, and possibly one more before it’s over”. It takes a special man to put up with my brand of crazy, but it takes an extraordinary one to consider someone else’s kids as his own! I’m not sure what I did to deserve a love like this, but I hope I can keep it up!

imageToday is our three year anniversary. Our first date was suppose to be on Christmas. He was going to keep me company (as just friends) after my ex came to get the kids. It was to be my first Christmas without them..even if just a partial one, but I was still bummed. However, on the 21st I got in a fight with my brother and I can’t recall now what it was about. I only know it was my favorite fight we ever had because it led me to William 4 days sooner. Three hours into it, I was over that whole “let’s just be friends” thing. He was and is a great listener. He is my calming force, and my safe place.

imageI didn’t let him meet the kids for a year. We took everything slow…very unlike me by the way. He never uses them to get back at me, and he didn’t use them to get closer to me either. For those of you paying attention, HE is the one who inspired me to get Charlie the help he so desperately needed. That phrase “looks like if I had a kid w/autism I’d wanna know something about it” was him almost three years ago. You know something? He does know about autism, as do I now…and I love him for it! He helped me find my awesome and I will always be in his debt, and part of his team.


Happy Anniversary, baby. Here’s to many more years of team Biscuit-Train, my wonderful Freight. I will love you forever…

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