Sunday, December 25, 2011

That perfect gift.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly my kids are growing up. I feel like it was just last year that I was chasing kids out of the tree decorations and rearranging my baking schedule to happen around nap time. Now they are decorating the tree and baking the cookies.
My middle child never was really interested in helping my in the kitchen until this year. She followed the recipe and made the various cookie doughs while my youngest rolled out the chilled dough. My oldest would run in and decorate the cookies before they were baked and my husband oversaw the baking. I was busy trying to get all of my recipes ready and keeping this all organized. Our new church had family Christmas Eve service at 4:00 so that made my day short. We had been out of town earlier so my baking and cooking schedule was way behind.
We traveled to Indiana last weekend to honor my son in his Boy Scout Eagle Court of Honor. He wanted to have his ceremony with his old troop because of all of his friends. The Order of the Arrow Ceremony team that I built and made costumes (regalia) for performed his ceremony. I was proud of all of them and especially proud of my son. My proudest moment was when he read his thank you letter to everyone. With his autism, that was quite a feat. He could have spoke up more but I thought he was perfect. Everyone tries to label kids with disabilities and he has fought to become just one of the boys. His Scoutmaster even pointed out how much he has grown. When he first started with the troop, he needed to know where I was at all times. We even tented together a few times. Now he is quite independent and shows quite a lot of self confidence. However, he still likes to keep me at arms length. I think I can live with that.
This has been a difficult year for my kids. They have earned their highest awards for their levels in Scouting, moved from their friends, started new schools, made new friends, and started new Scout troops. They have shown their independence. We asked a lot of our kids and they have come through.
I had to laugh this morning. My husband and I beat our kids out of bed - on Christmas morning. They were very calm about the presents under the tree. In fact, they opened their stockings first - which was basically candy. We spent the day as a family doing what most families do on Christmas day. I can't say that it was the most exciting Christmas day but it was still perfect. We snuggled up on the couches and watched Christmas movies and ended it watching football.
This has been my day of reflection. I still remember when my kids were toddlers exploring the Christmas tree and learning about the true story of Christmas. Now they decorate the tree and still explore the story of Christmas. They have grown quite a bit this year. However, we were still able to be together and enjoy each other's company. That is a wonderful gift to receive on this day.

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