Thursday, November 12, 2015

All I Want: The Special Needs Parent Christmas List

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The holiday season is fast approaching.   I'm methodically planning the timing of the Christmas tree and re-arranging furniture to decorate for Noah's absolute favorite time of year.  Firefly, a special needs equipment vendor, recently posted a Christmas survey asking special needs moms what they would put on their Christmas Lists if they could ask Santa for anything.

Admittedly I was stalled for a really long time.  The problem being is really one of of two things.  My greatest wishes will always be for my child with special needs and two, there is tremendous guilt with even thinking about what you want because your wants turn into providing for the needs of your child above all else.  So, I had to really force myself to look at things hypothetically.  Let's just pretend for survey completion sake that all of the needs of your child are met.  He doesn't need equipment, he has all his therapies paid for... that it's all completely taken care of and there are no worries.   That would take the guilt factor out of thinking of something for yourself...

I took this practice test and said if Noah's situation wasn't as financially complicated as it is and our lives weren't as challenging as they are, what would you really wish for? 

Special needs parents are really like anyone else.  If you remove that our wishes for our children always come before ourselves, we'd likely want some of the same things other people want for Christmas... mostly.

We can dream really big like it'd be great to have stainless steal appliances and new shutter blinds... you know the big luxury items that Santa has difficulties stuffing in his big red back regardless of special needs.  Or we can wish for practical things like gas cards and car restoration and repairs, or we can go really simple like it'd be great if I could replace my spatula and non-scratching cooking wisk or could replace my teflon pans that seem to be flaking and causing me distress as I imagine my children's food becoming contaminated with fragments of teflon and wishing I had a fancy stainless steal set of pots and pans.  Most parents humbly wishing they had a moment to feel pretty or get a makeover.  I can't remember the past time I felt pretty anymore.  Life has become about pony-tails, minimal make-up because you can't afford any, shirts that have stains, are faded and torn, pants with broken buttons and socks with at least one hole... an entirely new wardrobe from somewhere that is not Walmart also sounds like a big stretch for Santa. 

So what would I put on my Christmas List if I could give myself permission to ask Santa for something without the guilt factor?

A personal chef and food delivery service who could help me prepare daily meals and be tailored to each member of the family's dietary needs.

A snow removal service, because there's nothing quite like the stress of seeing piles of snow laying on top of your child's handicapped ramp and driveway knowing there's nothing you can do to shovel while caring for your child. 

A really incredible shopping spree with brand new lavish wardrobe.  You know the kind where you didn't have to think about how much money you owed the bank relative to how many pennies were in your wallet.  The carefree kind of shopping spree without having to think about looking at a price tag on a sweater you loved.  Knowing you could just have it regardless.

A elegant dress and some place fancy to go and have dinner.

A lifetime gift of endless Starbucks or coffee delivery anytime you needed it... all day long 24 hours a day if need be.

Wedge Boots with Fringe.... (yes I seen you at Kohl's at can't stop thinking about you.)

A pamper package.  To a really fancy salon where they made you look and feel like the goodness you know you once were. 

Really exquisite artwork to hang on my bare walls and an free interior decorator that would re-do the entire house that knew my sense of style. 

A covered patio with skylights, because it's a lot of work for me to clean up Noah's sensory gag stains when the sun hits his eyes. 

I'd love place setting of 12 Fiesta Dishes, Bowls, Cups and Flatware... you know the kind that are free from lead and cadmium free glaze so I know that they'd be safe to eat off of. 

A stainless steal cookware set, with handles that stayed cool to the touch while cooking and a dutch oven, and cast iron pan, mini cupcake tins and brand new cooking utensils.  Maybe it would be simpler to ask for a really big Bed Bath & Beyond Gift Certificate!  

A new floor cleaner and mop so I didn't have to look like a sad Cinderella cleaning my floor by hand every three days. >treats, pastries, fruits, chocolates, petite cakes and keepsakes... something that put Oprah's yearly gift ideas to shame.

In-home yoga instructor and an in-home gym so I could get totally in shape for the physical demands of special needs parenting. 

A really plush, expenses paid, all inclusive family vacation resort, with a five star hotel and endless room service to find my center of gravity again way from therapies, appointments, emails and phone calls.  

I could probably go on and on if I really tried.  It was nice to think about it, if only for the half hour it took me to write about it.   Luke just kicked me in his sleep during his afternoon nap - a signal that I need to get back to reality and quit dreaming about all the lovely things I'd love to ask Santa for.  And really the most rewarding feeling of the season is giving and not receiving.  Special needs parents never feel short-changed at the holidays even if there aren't presents under the tree for us.  We have been gifted with the biggest gift already - our children.


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.