“The holidays bring up a lot of emotions, and the grief sometimes hits you at the most unexpected times.
Wilson had a good day.
I saw one purposeful smile and captured a dreaming smile.
I’m scrolling through social media when all of a sudden, I’m crying.
In my scrolling, I see so many beautiful family pictures — with Santa; outside, in a decorated truck; in pajamas…
And then one just hits me like a log truck.
The sitting baby, looking at Santa.
The baby younger than Wilson holding a toy.
The baby is much younger than Wilson, and smiling.
And it shattered my heart.
Tears filled my eyes.
I love seeing these friends’ families, I truly do.
But I close my eyes and try to insert Wilson in the setting of that picture.
I see a stressful scenario where my screaming, arching, uncomfortable child terrorizes a Santa.
Santa’s are used to tantrums and stranger-hesitant, upset children. But how does a Santa handle a child’s inconsolable tears stemming from lots of neurological and GI discomfort?
I see tons of spit-up ruining the setup.
I see my tall, non-toddling toddler being held awkwardly or propped up, while I wait for a seizure to show its ugly head.
I’ve always loved photos and imagined having so many pictures of my son (and I do have a ton), but I imagined them differently.
I imagined smiles, and I don’t have many of those pictures.
I imagined him showing me his favorite toys, not staring at beads that I think he likes.
I imagined photos making and eating cookies, not receiving tube feeds.
I imagined a photo of my son smiling while sitting on Santa’s lap at 18 months, not propped up on a pillow with a blank expression.
We did manage to get a few good Christmas pictures of Wilson.
But, they just weren’t what I was expecting.
I say it all the time — all I want is for Wilson to be happy.
And I want photos that show off his smile…
But we’re not in that place, and sometimes that pain really really hurts.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Heather. Follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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