Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve, Inclusion Style

I have to admit, I have not been in the Christmas spirit this year. It has been difficult having our family separated by 1000+ miles and not being able to spend Christmas together has been even harder than I thought it would be. Throw in multiple illnesses for both kids (and me) over the past couple of months and doctors appointments nearly every week and it's just hard to keep it all together, much less make all kinds of Christmas cheer happen. It also doesn't help that Christmas seems to get more and more commercialized every year and it seems so hard to get through to our kids that it shouldn't be about the stuff you get but about the love you give.

So, I haven't really been in a Christmas kind of mood. However, we did manage to get to the children's service at our church tonight. When my mom told me a few weeks ago that Aaron was old enough to be included in the Christmas play at the children's Christmas Eve service, my immediate reaction was laughter and the thought "that will never work". But then I stopped and thought "if I want him to be included, then I need to take advantage of these opportunities". So we found some sweet girls to be his buddies during the service and went for it.

My sweet baby boy was a shepherd in the Christmas play.

And my big boy was a prophet! 

It did not go off without a hitch of course. He wasn't sure he wanted to go up to the front when it was time. But he did. His buddies came and held his hands and he was there with all of the other preschoolers.

 Then it was his Nana's turn to get up and talk and light the Advent candle, so naturally he wanted to go see her and blow out the candles! He got away from his buddies and I had to go catch him, but it was just Aaron being Aaron.

 He had fun singing songs.

And walking through the congregation as the shepherds went on their "journey".

He tried to eat a poinsettia. (He was not successful, I caught him before he was able to)

He took his costume off and put it back on a few dozen times during the service.

And he made three new friends.

It wasn't a stress free day. Those don't exist for us anymore. But it was an unbelievably emotional and heart warming day that I won't ever forget. It was a day that my little boy got to do what all of the other preschool kids at church do on Christmas Eve. He was there. He was included. He was having fun. 

I wish I could put into words what this moment meant to me as his mother. There simply aren't any. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to our friends and family that made this possible. Being part of the Christmas play is such a simple thing for most children, but it was momentous for us. 

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