by admin on December 27, 2010
About a week ago, our son Isaiah gave my wife Joyce, what could be her best gift of Christmas 2010. Joyce had spent the previous evening putting together a beautiful Christmas centerpiece for our dining room table. Our dining room table is a large solid fir table that seats a dozen or more (made with love by our friend Marc Pusch about a decade ago and weighs a ton), so it’s the perfect type of table for something dramatic in the middle. The centerpiece was full of vibrant green cedar boughs, mixed with Douglas Fir branches, pine cones, brilliant red carnations, a few golden Christmas bows and some red candles to give off the warmth of candlelight. This was new for Joyce – she doesn’t think of herself as a florist or flower arranger, but decided this year to have a go at making something rather than buying it.
When Isaiah came down for breakfast that morning, Joyce asked him if he wanted to see what Mommy had made the previous evening. (Even though 11 year old Isaiah doesn’t talk verbally due to Fragile X Syndrome and autism, he seems to understand quite a bit). He walked into the dining room – saw the centerpiece right away and starting making ‘wow sounds’ – and pointing with his hands doing the ‘ta-da’ thing. Then what he did next blessed Joyce to the core. He went and got a place mat and put it at his spot on the end of the table. Then he sat down and pointed emphatically at the place mat in front of him. (Translation – “I want to eat my breakfast here so I can admire the beautiful thing you made Mom!”) Then he clasped his hands together and sat there patiently for 5 minutes, making more wow sounds as he admired her handiwork and waited for his breakfast to be served.
Isaiah never eats breakfast in the dining room; in our house breakfast happens in the middle of the kitchen on the island – where all the action is. The dining room is for dinner; not breakfast. And besides, Isaiah needs to eat his breakfast in the kitchen so that he can watch ‘TreehouseTV’ in the kitchen while he eats (which he does every morning!)
When I got home from working out about 15 minutes later, I followed Isaiah into the dining room where a new session of wow sounds and arm pointing ensued. There’s nothing like Isaiah’s face all lit up as he does the ‘ta-da’; making absolutely sure I know exactly what he is trying to tell me . . . without saying a word.
What greater gift is there then having your child delight in something you have made or done for them?