As runners, we often find ourselves chasing that ultimate feeling in running: the runner’s high – when our feet barely touch the ground and we feel as if we are flying through our workout. I achieved that high this weekend, but it came from a completely unexpected source.
I first met Rhema and Hope here. I met them through the incredible network of blog moms that my wife is a part of. I then met them in real life when we had the wonderful opportunity to have the two of them and their parents over to our house. Their dad Brandon is a soldier stationed in Iraq doing what he does so that I have the privilege of being a stay at home dad. Their mom Jeneil and Jess (my wife) are part of an incredibly diverse group of strong, intelligent, caring women who were united by the common bond of autism, but now share so much more. You check out each and every one of these great women by linking to them through Jess’ blog roll.
I can only imagine what our military families go through during the holidays when a spouse is stationed overseas. With that in mind, we asked Jeneil if it would be okay for our family to bring a little Christmas early to their home.
Jeneil’s older daughter’s autism is very different than my daughter’s. I have never heard Rhema speak a word and I have never been sure that she noticed whether I was in the room or not.
That was until last weekend when our family went to their house with me dressed like this:
Little Hope was in shock that Santa had decided to stop by and make an appearance in her home.
After opening up a few presents and sitting on my, er Santa’s lap for a few minutes
she went off and made me, er Santa, a half a dozen beautiful drawings.
But the real magic happened on the way out. Rhema had been playing with her presents, giving little if any notice to Santa. But as I got up to leave, she came over to me, threw her arms around my shoulders, climbed up like a koala and wouldn’t let go. She looked me right in the eye as if to say, “you can’t go yet, Santa!”.
I thought that I was the one coming bearing gifts. I left with more than I had arrived with.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!