I heard Jax wake up this morning and run right into the kitchen. He wants to be a “big kid” so I crept out of my bed, and very quietly hovered in the hallway so he didn’t know I was watching. I thought he might try to spray paint my cabinets or take apart my toaster. Instead he sat at the counter and made a Christmas train out of paper and cardboard and packing tape.
As Jax sat there, working so intently, he softly sang Christmas carols. My sweet little boy in his sweet little voice. My little boy — who gets panic attacks around other people, who cries when he thinks he’s disappointed someone, who sometimes manages his frustration by yelling and throwing and hitting — is completely in his element in the quiet early mornings, before any chaos in the day presents itself.
He didn’t know all the words, but he knew the tunes and added his own lyrics.
“We wish you a merry Christmas and a Peterbilt truck.”
“Dashing through the snow, in a B-twen-ty-nine-sleigh.”
It was magic.
I know what lies ahead today. Two therapy sessions with important lessons, crucial lessons, but my son will spend most of this day outside of his comfort zone. He lives outside of his comfort zone, and that doesn’t always look sweet or magical. It’s not always easy for him. Or for me.
But my kid, in his ninja turtle pajamas that are three inches too short, sitting alone in the dark of the morning, singing. Yes.
I got to stand at the window of my child’s soul and secretly peer in. This, right here, is my beautiful boy. This is the how and the why and the everything I fight for. Stripped clean of social pressure and demands, without any trappings of what is right or what is normal, this is the essence of my son. Sweet and pure and full of grace.
This morning, the universe said, “Merry Christmas, Mom.” I stood in the hallway listening to my son sing…and said thank you.
Rebecca Masterson is a writer, speaker, and an advocate for children. For more from Rebecca, follow her on Instagram. Or sign up for her newsletter.