Merry Christmas

With wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with a whole lotta wonderful!


Chrtistmas Wishes

Christmas is made of magic and wishes and beautiful stories to fill your heart...

Last night, we were all sitting watching The Polar Express...a very favorite Christmas film of mine, which Jari chose. As it was nearing the end, and the kid gets to pick the first gift of the year, Jari says to me: If I could have one wish, I KNOW what my wish would be.

I looked at him and asked, simpl├┐, "What?"

He leans over and whispers to me, "I have a wish, but I can only tell you. Not Kaeden and Papa." and he glanced at Kaeden sitting nearby and he put his finger to his lips in a shushing gesture.

We finished watching the film and I told the boys it was time to get ready for bed. Jari snuggled up to me and I could see he had something on his mind. "Jari" I whispered. "What would be your wish?"

My little boy looked up at me, and one lone tear fell from his eye as he wiped it away (yes, really). He pulled me under the blanket with him and whispered in my ear, "If I could have just one wish, I'd wish for Kaeden and Papa to not fight any more."

Though I knew this was an emotional moment, it took me by surprise. While many children wish for toy cars and computer games, nothing could fulfill the wish list of my son more fruitfully than peace in our home, in his life.

Sobs shook my body as I held me son against me. We lay there, in each other's arms, sharing a hope which we both believe can never come true. We believe in the Christmas spirit, in Sanata Claus and Rudolph, but something simple like a happy family is something we dare not dream, though the hope and desire remains fully alive.

I pulled my son's face to mine, looking him eye to eye. I kissed the tip of his nose and whispered in his ear, "Jari, that is the most beautiful wish I have ever heard." With a last tight squeeze, he took off to brush his teeth and get ready for bed.

Christmas is made of Magic. I hope the magic helps my son's only wish to come true, because I am powerless in this situation. It's just a little wish...please make it come true.



I just got off the phone with my mom. I feel a surge of energy fill me up and excite my every nerve ending when I talk to her lately. All we chitchat about revolves around Christmas. And the fact that we'll be together this Christmas...and what a blessing that is for us and our families.

Who's name did I draw? What should I bring? When will you arrive? Who will be there and when? I sent some presents to Jo's house...can you let her know? It's going to be one of those great big old fashioned family Christmasses of my past...sharing it in the presence of my grandparents, though no longer in their home, all of us coming and going, being together. Cousins, aunts, uncles, siblings, parents...we're all going to be pitching in to make a great Christmas celebration. It sounds like so much fun!

I have been praying for a miracle, hoping that my brother and his family would also be present this year. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that it will happen, but whether present at the festivities or not, they will certainly share our space in love and prayer for a healthy, happy, blessed new year. I only wanted for our children to be able to come to know each other better, to play as I played with my cousins as a kid, to feel the smothering comfort of being with family. Yes, smothering...maybe that's what scares them away...we're all so very different. How is it that people raised in the same home, under the same rules, with the same parenst and discipline can turn out to be such different people? I see it with my brothers and I, but also in my own children. Life, and how it affects us, all in our own way.

Christmas is on my mind. I can't wait til it's arrival...to be encircled in the wreath of my family, captured in hugs and laughter, smiles and emotion. It will be a gift. A gift to treasure.


Words in Bed

Saturday morning was a really good one for me. My kids woke up early and I followed them downstairs to see what the Belgian Sinterklaas had left on the plate they had set out for him. Excitedly, they found cookies and candies and a couple little surprises, including a lottery ticket each...a luxury they thoroughly enjoy. They were happy with their gifts, knowing that the 'real' Sinterklaas would be visiting oma and opa's house later in the evening.

I went back up to bed, it being too early after a late night watching tv, and snuggled with my husband. He decided to check on the kids, see their surprises, then crawled back into bed next to me. I snuggled against him, warming up, and we talked about everything under the sun. Talked and talked and talked, as if there was so much to say and we could never get it all out. It is something we have been missing in our relationship, and something I greatly treasured this Saturday morning.

Even with tons to do to prepare for our evening of Sinterklaas, those hours snuggled next to my husband in bed talking and laughing were the best gift I could have received. When Erwin announced that it was already 10:30, I was in shock. We really had spent time just the two of us together.

It is so easy to forget the importance of talking and being present for each other in a relationship. SO much gets in between you and those moments; kids, dishes, laundry, bills, sports, work, computer time. But they are more important than anything else in keeping your relationship alive and strong.

I can't believe how much lighter I feel after having had that one day of intimacy with my man. Something so intimate as words, and how they affect us, how they relate to us and our lives. We need to take the time to make more of these moments. More time together, sharing and learning and laughing.



It was the strangest feeling I have had to date as the mom of an autistic child. It was a feeling I can't quite describe, and am still trying to come to terms with. It was beyond a simple grateful, floated a little higher than hope, and the joy in my heart could be grabbed and held, so palpable it was.

During our Thanksgiving weekend, I gave thanks, as I do every year. For my family and friends, for people in my life who care and share their love, for the ability to be a stay at home mom and provide my children with that security, for my husband who gives of himself to allow this reality, for the level of comfort we lead in our lives, able to provide food, clothing, shelter, in a country with many opportunities available. I was thankful, as I am thankful on any given day.

However, this year there was a touch more. A new experience I was being afforded, one I had never dared to believe could come true. In addition to be surrounded by family this year, each of my children was flocked by a friend joining our Thanksgiving celebration. With Jari, this is not something so confound. Jari is regularly found traipsing with friends, visitors to our home or he to theirs. However, it is no less a blessing, knowing your child is capable of friendship and having that open doors to your soul. But the biggest blessing that filled my heart this Thanksgiving celebration was sharing the table with Kaeden's friend. Kaeden's friend, whom would spend the night and 2 full days with our family, with our son. A true friend.

I am grateful for Sacha. He brought with him a guitar, a duffel bag of clothes, and a sense of something greater that nothing can ever replace. He gave me a feeling of normalcy, of being a typical family who has friends coming in and out at all hours of the day and night. He brought with his presence a feeling of pride in Kaeden, of wanting to show off his home, his village, his family. Wanting to have a good weekend without disagreement, without any discord. And in me, a glowing light that didn't stop shining, knowing my boy, my kid, has a friend. A real-life friend, not just someone he picked up during a tour in a musuem(typical for Kaed), or from a grocery store line a nice old man giving his attention whom Kaeden names his best friend. Not those people who are kind, but not friends; but a true friend. Someone not autistic, but who cares about Kaeden. Who sees problems Kaeden has and yet chooses to still be his friend, and not only be there for him, but try to help him find new ways.

I can't put into words what this meant to me. I can't help but smile when I think of this friendship, typical teenage boys riding bikes and laughing and coming home asking for a snack. It has been a dream of mine...and this Thanksgiving, it finally came true.