Christmas was only a week away. On a typical quiet holiday break morning, my son bounds downstairs. He somehow knew I wanted him to join me in my daily Good Morning America ritual. I cannot miss a morning of Robin Roberts' brand of journalism. She is just such a compassionate anchor and never overstates the message, but seeks ways to impact her world while leaving her stamp. To diverge, Tyler has Autism and truly does value the human expression of compassion. I would consider him one of the most compassionate persons I have ever met.
He climbed into bed and put his head into the crook of my arm. At this very moment a segment about Christmas gifts (a much belabored pop culture moment) in the proportion that some saw as excessive flashed on the screen. I consider myself a pop culture savant. I had to hear the mother's side of this coin. So I waited for the commercials to run and chatted it up with Tyler.
I asked my son how many gifts did he think were delivered by Santa to that house. He gave his best estimate and innocently replied "100". I then asked him how many gifts did he want for Christmas this year. "2". Only two? I knew just what two things those would be. DVD's in an educational series.
At times, I am utterly astonished by my child. He somehow places all my life cruxes into perfect clarity. For certain, his priorities even in this season are unwavering. He intuitively knows that there is a higher meaning to all of this. An Autism disorder places social and cognitive limits, but seemingly honesty transcends any limitations. This is honesty in not taking but giving. Never more than the essentials. He wanted connection in the intangibles over the mystery content in boxes and bags...
The lesson I learned from him was that the gift isn't in that gorgeous designed paper, but the humanity that surrounds us. Sure thing, Tyler's two gifts are on Santa's list. He gave me life goals during that conversation. Maybe my list should be on redux mode, too.
May the joy that this season brings offer your families understanding and peace.
Living life in color