Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Visiting Santa

This past weekend, Dad and I took these kids on the annual Santa trip. We are never sure what to expect from those moments -- will they be willing to wait on line? Will they try to run away? What will they think when they are face to face with the big guy? But we can't be afraid to do things that everyone else just takes for granted, right?

That's always our question. We know that there are opportunities, but we have to decide whether it's worth the risk every time. Sometimes, because of Big Brother, there really is no question -- he wants to go and he deserves to go. We just try to prepare ourselves for whatever Ballerina and Music Man will do. This is one of those times. Big Brother believes in Santa. And he knows he wants certain specific packages to be waiting for him under the tree. If he doesn't tell Santa himself (or at a minimum one of Santa's authorized helpers/dopplegangers) he has no way to know if Santa will get the message. So, off to Santa we went.

I also should say that visiting Santa is a measure for us as parents. We go to the same location every year. They are set up (about) the same way every year. And every year, we try to ascertain how Ballerina and Music Man are progressing, and how we as parents are growing in our willingness to take chances with our kids to give them these experiences. We always purchase the images (and the copyright protection) so we can track these experiences over time.

So, this year, we went on Sunday. We checked online and learned that the mall was opening at 10 and Santa would be arriving at 11. So, we knew we wanted to arrive at the mall around 10:30. That way we would be near the front of the line, at least hopefully. So, we made an effort to have everything we would possibly need and then headed off to the mall.

We got there a little later than we planned, mainly because we got a slightly later start then we planned. But we were still only the 4th or 5th family on line. As soon as Dad joined the line with the boys, out came his phone. Big Brother took out his iPod. Big Brother started playing his games. And Dad started a movie -- PARTY DAY by Laurie Berkner Band.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

These kids were dancing, playing, singing and having a blast. We had to work to keep them from getting in the way of the shoppers walking around the growing line to see Santa, but they just kept working their way to a darkened store window which had a reflective surface. Ballerina enjoyed staring at her reflection, Music Man was dancing and spinning away and even Big Brother joined in!!!!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

The video kept them busy until Santa arrived. Then, since we were so close to the beginning of the line, we moved right into the queue when the gate was opened. We still had a couple of songs left in the movie to pull out when we were waiting for our actual turn, but all together, our wait to see Santa was only about 35 minutes, and that was with us arriving approximately 20 minutes before Santa arrived. Big Brother was happy when it was our turn and then when it was our turn, he went straight onto Santa's lap and they discussed his list. Santa asked to keep the list, just to make sure he didn't forget anything. And, for good measure, we even got a couple of pictures for our efforts.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

After we left Santa's lap, we had a few problems. Neither Ballerina nor Music Man wanted to stick around and wait while I paid for the picture. Dad was stuck trying to coral them. Music Man DID manage to get out of the space that Dad created and went into a store. But unlike past experiences, once he reached the back of the store, he turned around and came back to me and took my hand to walk right back to Dad. In the past, he would have been kicking or screaming, or I would have had to go into the store and drag him out, carrying him like a stack of potatoes. So, again, using this as a measure of growth, this was a positive.

So, we drove home, tired but triumphant.

But Ballerina's day wasn't done. She was so happy to be dressed up. I couldn't allow her to stay in that dress all day when she was just playing at home, but I allowed her to be in her Halloween costume. So, Ballerina was a princess for the rest of the day, tiara and all....

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

All in all, it was a good day!!!!


  1. Wow, I'm so happy to have stumbled across your blog. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts. I have a six year old on the spectrum, and twin 16 month old boys. We haven't managed to see Santa this year, as it seems like so much work right now. I admire your strengh :) You've motivated me to try and give it a shot this afternoon. My son is just starting to show an interest in Santa - so I think it'd be a good experience for him!

  2. Sandra, thank you so much for your comment, and I'm thrilled to have you here!!!! It is a lot of work to see Santa, but that's one of the things that "Big Brother" won't let us skip. Most things that we're afraid to do but do them anyway are because of him. He can't be made to suffer and miss out on what his friends do because we aren't sure what we will face when we go out into the world. HE is the one that saved me from myself. And the more we do these things (1) the easier they become and (2) the more tricks we learn to make (1) a reality. I hope you were able to go and that the experience went well. Distractors are ALWAYS a good thing when you go out and (potentially) have to wait.