You know how, as a parent, you second-guess every decision you make pertaining to your children?
Kiran sat next to Santa last night, in his wheelchair. We got to the open house, and we watched for awhile from a safe distance. There was another little girl who was apprehensive about Santa, too, and we watched him next to her and her parents. When it was our turn, I opted to just let Kiran sit next to Santa, in his safe space. He didn’t cry this time, but he also wouldn’t smile. He did look at Santa and then bring his hand to his mouth in kinda a surprised way.
He didn’t cry, which is progress. And this was take one. We will see Santa at our Help-A-Heart party next week, and I will attempt to get an on-Santa’s-lap picture then.
I have been regretting not trying to do that last night. Get a picture of Kiran on Santa’s lap. So, of course, in true Holly fashion, I have been analyzing why I didn’t this morning.
Two reasons, really.
1) He has never liked Santa. In years past, he has been, at best, apprehensive; at worst, he has CRIED. And if you know Kiran at all, he simply doesn’t cry. Like, seriously. It is so rare for him to cry that it startles me when he does – and I certainly know something is actually really wrong. Now, this is nuts. Kiran loves EVERYONE…except Santa. And there is that part of me that simply thinks “This kid has been through – goes through, daily – enough; why would I put him through a stupid Santa lap picture when it’s going to mildly traumatize him for life?”
2) I struggle with it for a different reason this year, made so poignant by the little girl next to us who was able to communicate with her parents that she didn’t want to see Santa. Kiran can’t tell me. He can’t let me know, with words anyway, whether it is something he wants to do or not. And I really am the type of mom that wants to respect my kid’s feelings. Only…I have to guess what they are. Granted, I would know after I placed him on Santa’s lap. But I guess I just was grappling with that last night, so I played it safe.
Exposure is a good thing, though. We will try Santa’s lap at HAH. In the meantime, we will listen to the Must Be Santa song some more, and we will keep reading our Christmas books and looking at Santa’s picture.
I trust that he will let me know, the second I set him on Santa’s lap, if he is okay with it. I just hope he trusts me, his mama, to hear him and respect him – and protect him from the big scary man, if that is his experience of Santa again this year.