For the past ten years that we have attended Christmas Eve church services I have wanted to attend with my whole family. But sometimes with special needs children things like super crowded Christmas Eve services just aren't possible. The holidays already make many special needs children anxious and overwhelmed and add a crowded special church service into the mix and you are cruising for disaster.
In order for Noah not to attend, we’d attend in shifts going to different service times so that someone was always able to be at home with Noah where it was quiet and calm. Each year, I would wistfully watch other extended families of parents, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles attending together wishing it was my own.
In light of some of Noah’s recent behavior changes and the fact that he can sit and eat in a restaurant now (which is something he couldn’t have done a couple of years ago) we decided to attempt bringing him to the Christmas Eve service with all of us.
We prepped him. We made sure he had a nap and we even had a contingency plan should Noah have become overwhelmed and fussy. As I walked into church with my family pushing Noah’s wheelchair, I held my breath and silently prayed....
Yes he talked during the service. He said our names making sure we were all on the row with him. He needed my Dad to sit next to him and have his arm around him for most of the service. But he watched in awe at the music, the lights, the sounds; he experienced the beauty that is a candlelight Christmas Eve service. He worshiped with his family and was just generally pleased to be there.
I cried happy tears. This is something my heart wanted for so long. So, it’s not even Christmas day yet and I have already received the best Christmas present ever! While it's not wrapped up and under the tree, it will live in my heart forever.
And you may recall that I received the best birthday present ever back in September. What a lucky and blessed Momma I have been this year!
Merry Christmas friends!