Friday, January 10, 2014

Post-Game, Vol. 3

If you've not read Post-Game and Post-Game Vol. 2, click their titles.  If you have, welcome back.  

The Sunday before Christmas, I looked at Eric after church and said, "I wonder if the guy in the red suit is at the mall today."  Still reeling from realizing that I'd not been doing anything kiddie-fun with the kids, we had taken them to Santa's Wonderland, which was a huge leap, we'd driven around looking at Christmas lights, we made gingerbread cookies randomly in the middle of the week, watched Christmas movies, and there was this one thing I wanted to try.

I hadn't forgotten, entirely.  I had pushed the idea that I'd have pictures of the littles with Santa out of my mind because of the difficulty of making it to Waco, then having to wait in line with Ryan.  But it was time.

I wish I could say he looked at me like I had three heads, but he didn't.  He's far too used to me having these flashes of courage... or lapses of stupidity, I'm not sure which.  The morning's service had been rough, too. Crazy mama.  We couldn't even go to our regular fast food spot... Ryan's behavior had been THAT off.  But, whether I was crazy or not, after a nice little lunch we headed for the mall.

The whole way I questioned my sanity.  The.  Whole.  Way.  I was headed someplace that has historically been a consistent source of disaster for Ryan so that we could wait in line to do something for less than five minutes for his brother and sister.  That and it's just something I said I wouldn't do.

"Why would I put my kids on some random man's lap and let them share with him their hopes and dreams?!"  I'd say.

Partially because something she asked for that she didn't get... that castle thingy with the horses that "clip-clop" down a slope... isn't her hopes and dreams.  She shares with me and her daddy her hopes and dreams, and mostly they consist of wanting to meet Cinderella and Thomas the Tank Engine.  Richie, on the other hand, only wanted a "woodent train Gordon" which, just like Ralphie, he forgot when he got to Santa.

Oh, and let's not forget snow.  They both want snow.

It's not that they matter less than mine, or anyone else's.  Just the opposite!  And if they had thrown fits about having to sit on the old guy's lap, we would have walked away.  Really.  Ryan decided that the hour and a half or so wait was fine, he'd take a pic with Rudolph, but no thanks on the Santa thing.  And he didn't have to.

The line was long.  Almost "Christmas Story" long, but not quite.  There were bits of magic here and there... or blessings, if you're more inclined.

Ryan made it.  He started to melt down here and there, but he made it.  This was huge for him!  Maybe the longest he has ever waited in line.

The littles didn't start any brother-sister fights in line.

In the tightness of the line, no one... and I mean no one... looked at us crooked or made any nasty gestures or comments the few times Ryan began his grunty-squealy, hitting his head thing.  Or when he half ran over them.

At one point, he even sang "The Chipmunk Song" in its entirety to the crowd, winning several smiles!  Okay, I say he sang the whole thing.  It was largely intelligible due to his still-needed speech therapy, but hey!  He did it, and all on his own.  No prompting.  It wasn't even my idea!

And there's this.

I can't begin to tell you how overjoyed I was that they wanted this picture.  Together.  Again, their idea.  Not mine.  Not anything I carefully planned or worked toward.  Just a random idea, because we'd watched Christmas movies and the notion came up.  

And I stopped long enough to listen.  Think.  And remember they wanted to do it.  Not hurry them through because the big people have an agenda.  

How can they get that God, who is so vast and incomprehensible, loves them and cares to listen to their requests, desires, and concerns when the people who are biggest to them don't hear them when they're standing right there?   

Thanks be to God for Maelynn asking for snow.  And for the lack that made me see her and her brothers in 4D and color. 

And this happened, and I don't think they're the worse for wear... 

And thanks for the would-be trip to urgent care on the next evening that stuck it all together, and made the little girl in this mama relax at Christmas for the first time. 

Stay tuned for the wrap up tomorrow. 

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