‘We won’t have a little voice waking us up Christmas morning, no opening presents. We put up lights, even though they can’t express their excitement.’: Special needs mom shares reality of Christmas season, ‘our babies are the gift’

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“Christmas time is hard in the life of a special needs family.

It’s hard, sad, painful, yet magical and full of joy at the same time.

Our Christmas is different from yours.

Courtesy of Chelsea Wasden
Courtesy of Chelsea Wasden

We won’t have a little voice waking us up on Christmas morning. No toddler running around opening presents. No excited screams when they see what Santa brought.

It’s struggling with gift ideas. What do you get a non-mobile, non-verbal child?

It’s walking past all the cool toys at the front of every store, wishing our child could play with them.

It’s the isolating feelings, the grief, the loneliness, the pain of this different world we’re in. Watching from the inside as everyone we know is enjoying holiday parties, visiting Santa, going to light shows.

Our Christmas is embracing the unique little baby we’ve been blessed with and finding our own way.

It’s decorating and putting up beautiful lights, because even though they can’t express their excitement, doesn’t mean they can’t feel the magic.

Courtesy of Chelsea Wasden

It’s shopping for new blankets, light up toys, adaptive things, all to wrap and help him open on Christmas morning.

It’s rocking at night, watching Christmas movies, singing Christmas songs in his ear believing he can hear them.

Baking Christmas cookies just to let him taste.

It’s making memories and giving him experiences over things.

It’s making our own Christmas traditions.

It’s letting him taste all the yummy Christmas food we’re eating even though he can’t eat it with us.

It’s seeing his face light up when he’s surrounded by people who love him.

A smile, a laugh, a cuddle, a wet kiss, even just a twinkle in his eye, are all gifts to us special needs parents.

Our babies are the gift.

Our Christmas is different, but it’s still so magical.”

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Courtesy of Chelsea Wasden

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Chelsea Wasden of Valrico, Florida. You can follow her journey on Facebook and Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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