Thursday, December 16, 2010


Oh, Christmas Tree!
Our artificial pre-lit Christmas tree is up. Thankfully, the cat and kids aren't interested in climbing it or pulling it down or yanking off the ornaments.

Christmas stockings

Four stockings line our stair banister waiting for Santa to fill them with goodies. Christmas lights cast a soft, inviting glow on our front porch at night, setting the perfect Christmas mood with every twinkle.

Matthew's favorite musical Christmas toys are out. With one squeeze of his hand, this snowman dances to the tune of Frosty the Snowman.

dancing snowman

The nativity play set is set up under the Christmas tree but baby Jesus has found his way to the cozier-looking crib in the Fisher Price Little People house. I think Bill inadvertently put baby Jesus there for pretend play time with Matthew.

dancing snowman

Christmas music streams from the iPod speakers. Matthew sings along.

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" prompts me to sing along. Up until 3 years ago, I viewed Rudolph as pretty cool with his shiny red nose. Other than that, I didn't internalize the song like I did after Matthew was born. I began to see Rudolph's uniqueness from an entirely different level - through the eyes of a mom who has a child with special needs. Rudolph's uniqueness took on a deeper meaning in my mind.

"All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph
join in any reindeer games."

This part of the song makes me so sad that I actually cry. I ponder Matthew's social life. I think of how I don't ever want him to feel like an outcast. I think of how I might react if I hear people call him offensive names.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say:
"Rudolph with your nose so bright,
won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"

Then all the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history!

As the song ends, I'm still teary but with happy tears. I dream that Matthew will have lots of friends. I dream of how people will accept and respect him for who he is. I dream of how many lives he will inspire and has inspired, including mine.

Amazing how having a child with Down syndrome has changed my outlook on even the simplest things! In this case, it's a simple song that's not even about Down syndrome. Or maybe I'm just emotional at Christmas...


j*e*n said...

I never thought about it that way - how neat!! Makes me re-think the Island of Misfit Toys on the Rudolph movie, too. Great post, Ria!!

JC said...

Matthew looked so cute in that video singing along...I have to say I notice small things like this now too...Words in songs, lines in movies...Stuff I just never really payed attention to before just seem to pop out at me now. I loved this post :)

suelmayer said...

I loved Matthew's singing! It's funny I had the same reaction to the song.

Shawn said...

Ria I too find that the Rudolph song has had a different meaning. It is not the "happy" holiday song I once sang as a child. It is now a song of acceptance. A song of promise. A song of possibility. And after 12 years of being blessed with our daughter Court there are still days when something so simple cause me to cry over what will be and what might have been. And then she says something or does something that once again erases those momentarily emotions and I am back happy with a beautiful, talented and fabulous daughter. Great post!