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What kind of 4-yr-old boy asks Santa for something other than presents?

My son, that's who.

Years ago, back when we lived in England, I met with his pre-school teacher for the usual 'Come see how your kids are settling in after the first few months' chat. She told me she'd given the class an assignment to write a letter to Santa.

When it came to his turn to talk about what he'd requested, he said, 'I asked him to make my sisters better.' I don't mind admitting I got quite choked up when she told me.

He's seventeen months older than my twin daughters, both of whom are severely autistic. In the years since then, I've often admired his patience and understanding, especially when they tore his artwork or generally scratched, ruined or broke his belongings. Only once have I seen him get upset about what they'd done. He had what we still refer to as 'The Argus Filch moment' (if you know the scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, in which Filch demands retribution for his petrified cat, you'll know what I'm talking about), which we often laugh about together.

He's eighteen now, studying at The College of New Jersey. I'm picking him up for the winter break this afternoon, which is probably why I found myself thinking about him a lot this morning. He's a grand lad, and excellent company. Senior Management and I are looking forward to having him home for a few weeks.

It's funny, no matter how old he gets, no matter how grown up he becomes, part of me will always see him as the little boy who wanted Santa to make his sisters better.


How about you?

Got any 'Proud Parent' moments you'd like to share?

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( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
queenoftheskies
Dec. 20th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC)
How wonderful!

I had a similar incident when my oldest son was 5. My youngest was born prematurely and they weren't sure, at first, whether he'd make it or not. I was sent home from the hospital without him.

When I asked my oldest what he wanted for his birthday, the only thing he wanted was for his brother to be able to come home.

The next day, we got the call. Mark could come home.

Hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season!
jongibbs
Dec. 20th, 2011 04:28 pm (UTC)
I love hearing about proud parent moments like this.

Thanks for sharing :)
queenoftheskies
Dec. 20th, 2011 04:30 pm (UTC)
And, thank you, too. It's always magical to be reminded of what's really important this time of year.
msstacy13
Dec. 20th, 2011 04:44 pm (UTC)
My son has had some wonderful moments...
I wish I could say they were too numerous to mention...
:)
jongibbs
Dec. 20th, 2011 04:48 pm (UTC)
Care to share one?
msstacy13
Dec. 20th, 2011 05:26 pm (UTC)
Not today.
But thank you for asking.
cyn2write
Dec. 20th, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
Aw, that is so sweet of your son!! It actually reminded me a little of my daughter, who is now 5. My youngest daughter, 2, is quite a handful and has never been able to sit still for more than a second. I have never been able to hold her in my lap, even when she was a baby... she cried nonstop. So now that she's two, she's pretty much the super-troublesome-two. She breaks everything she touches, pushes and hits everyone who comes near her, and wants everything NOW. I was explaining yesterday that because my younger daughter was behaving so badly, she might not get any presents from Santa, and my 5-year old said, of the girl who constantly hits and kicks and pushes her away, "Well, there's only one solution. I'll share mine."

jongibbs
Dec. 20th, 2011 11:40 pm (UTC)
Bless her little cotton socks :)
amysisson
Dec. 20th, 2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
Lovely story. Thanks for sharing! I'm not a parent so nothing in this category to share. :-)
jongibbs
Dec. 20th, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC)
My pleasure, Amy :
karen_w_newton
Dec. 20th, 2011 06:58 pm (UTC)
Your story is lovely! It made me tear up a little and I never even met your family.

My story about my son is from when he was 19 or 20. At the time he was living at home and going to community college. One Saturday he went downtown to go out with a friend of his. They were walking to the friend's apartment after having hoisted a few at the neighborhood bar when they heard a noise from under a car. It was a tiny, scrawny kitten-- not a runaway pet but an alley cat's offspring-- covered in grime and parasites and meowing for all he was worth for his mama who was nowhere in sight. My son and his friend caught the kitten (they had to climb a fence) and took it to the friend's place. They washed it with ferret shampoo (friend's roommate had a ferret)and fed it ferret food and French fries. The deal was he would be my son's cat, but by the time Wes moved out a year or two later, I was already very attached to the cat and he's still ours. I've always been proud that Wes took the trouble to save a tiny little scrap of life. A lot of people would have just kept walking.
jongibbs
Dec. 20th, 2011 11:42 pm (UTC)
'A lot of people would have just kept walking'

Indeed they would.
lindaabdavis
Dec. 20th, 2011 09:19 pm (UTC)
That's so awesome, Jon. It's always good to discover that our children are truly excellent people.

My proud moment was when my daughter (then roughly ten) went to a class party where they were all supposed to bring a game to play. They took turns playing games. One girl who has Downs Syndrome brought Chutes and Ladders which most of the kids considered themselves to old or cool to play. Erica said she didn't want her to feel bad that nobody wanted to play her game, so she played with her. Whenever I get upset with her for not being enough of "this" or "that" at nineteen, I remember the little girl who, deep down, cares about other people's feelings.
jongibbs
Dec. 20th, 2011 11:42 pm (UTC)
Good for her :)
ann1962
Dec. 20th, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)
That is very sweet.

part of me will always see him as the little boy who wanted Santa to make his sisters better.

You viewed his essential identity in that moment.
jongibbs
Dec. 20th, 2011 11:43 pm (UTC)
Lol, another part of me will always see him as the little boy, mom and dad are going to llive with when they hit ninety, and exact their revenge :)
darkspires
Dec. 21st, 2011 01:32 am (UTC)
Compassion is always a biggie. I had a bad fall just before kid 2's graduation, where I was supposed to help with the decorating and one of the other mom's had volunteered me chaperoning for the graveyard shift at the grad party. I was in a full cast from my right shoulder to my fingertips. All my daughters took over all the housecleaning and cooking. I didn't ask, they just did it. And kid 2 explained to the parent committee they were shit out of luck so they better find someone else. She was polite the first time, but when one of these women still insisted I could drive out to the county for this party, ... well, the kid went into details about realistic expectations. Kid 1 took over my decorating duties. Kid 3 took over weeding my flowerbeds. They all treated me like gold dust.

You must be so proud of your son. What he did tops everything.
jongibbs
Dec. 21st, 2011 09:07 am (UTC)
Sounds like the whole family rallied around you in your time of need. Good on them :)
snapes_angel
Dec. 21st, 2011 08:55 am (UTC)
Had several, over the course of a lifetime. Terror just did a terrific job now, though. This semester, she put in some excellent work and really managed to pull her grades up! It being about 4 AM right now, I can't really think of anything else, though I know they're there.
jongibbs
Dec. 21st, 2011 09:08 am (UTC)
Lol, no problem. I can barely type at 4am, much less think ;)
snapes_angel
Dec. 21st, 2011 09:15 am (UTC)
Being sick right now, to, which is part of the reason why I'm up at this ghastly hour, doesn't is not exactly conducive to coherent thought, either. :3
jongibbs
Dec. 21st, 2011 01:36 pm (UTC)
Fortunately, lack of cohesion is a constant with me, so no matter what time itis, I always make the same amount of sense ;)
snapes_angel
Dec. 21st, 2011 03:10 pm (UTC)
It's all nickels and dimes, right? :3
martyn44
Dec. 21st, 2011 11:49 am (UTC)
All three of ours never subscribed to 'fitting in', and various waifs and strays were always welcome in our house. I was sitting in the car with our daughter waiting for some school occasion or other and her younger brother's class walked by. 'Look at that,' she said, 'the only cool guys in the whole school, my kid brother and his geeky pal'. Years later, she, her kid brother and his geeky pal are still the best of friends, and they still don't care about fitting in.
jongibbs
Dec. 21st, 2011 01:35 pm (UTC)
Imagine how much less stress there'd be in the world if nobody cared about fitting in :)
mnfaure
Dec. 21st, 2011 12:42 pm (UTC)
That choked me up, too.

S is too young...well, actually, last night, in a restaurant, there was a 13 mo baby boy (S will be 14 mo tomorrow) and she wanted to give him a kiss. He kissed her back but then started slapping and pushing her. Instead of following suit, S just tried to give him another kiss.

However, I think she knows how to draw the line, too. About 6 weeks ago, a 3-yr boy pushed her down. She got to her feet and ignoring him, went back to playing with a toy. When he picked up a toddler stool and came at her, intending to knock her over with it, she pointed at him and told him (in baby talk, naturally) in no uncertain terms that she would not put up with that.
jongibbs
Dec. 21st, 2011 01:34 pm (UTC)
Lol, I'd have been having strong words with the 3-yr-old boy and his parents by then :)
mnfaure
Dec. 21st, 2011 05:48 pm (UTC)
It was in a pharmacy and the mother let her tyke have the run of the place while she went about filling her prescriptions. Thankfully, Julien was there to intervene if needed, and he was explaining to the boy that what he was doing wasn't nice when the mother ran up saying "sometimes he is a bit rough." :P
bogwitch64
Dec. 21st, 2011 02:02 pm (UTC)
Egads, man! Did you have to make me cry first thing in the morning?

The first thing that came to my mind when you asked for a proud parent moment was the memory of my toddler son saving his baby sister's life.

They are 20 months apart. He wasn't yet three, she was shy of one. Both of them walked extremely early (he at nine months, she at eight.) We were in a flea market in southern NJ, and though we were watching them, my baby boy was watching her more closely. She was batting at a huge laquer headboard with her little baby hands, but it was enough to topple the thing. Her big/baby brother caught it and held it up before it could crush her, using his whole body to hold it back while we made the dash to grab it, her and him.

He was so proud. He didn't understand! But he was proud. She, of course, was oblivious.
jongibbs
Dec. 21st, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
'the memory of my toddler son saving his baby sister's life.' So that's Terri's son for the win, I think :)
bogwitch64
Dec. 22nd, 2011 11:51 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'll take the cash prize for him. College, you know...
;)

Happy Holidays, my dear!
Marie Gilbert
Dec. 22nd, 2011 02:24 am (UTC)
I guess my proud moment was when the eldest of the nine grandchildren treated me to a special Christmas present. I had taken her to see the Nutcracker at the Academy of Music every year since she was four year old. When she was in her senior year at Moore's College, she took me to see the Nutcracker. She paid for the show tickets, getting the best seats, paid for the taxi and treated me to dinner.
jongibbs
Dec. 22nd, 2011 10:37 am (UTC)
She sounds like a keeper :)
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )

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