First Christmas

Rebecca Shayler-Adams by Rebecca Shayler-Adams Additional Needs

Rebecca Shayler-Adams

Rebecca Shayler-Adams

We are just a typical family muddling along our day to day lives. 4 kids, 1 with autism, 1 with an unknown neuromuscular condition

I have gone to the toy shops in their summer sales and stocked up on different things for the children of the family.

I will start looking now for the Christmas food stock that is coming in and stock up on Christmas chocolates and crisps. I will start to look out for coupons and vouchers for real Christmas trees.

This year however is the first Christmas I am feeling a bit stumped.

Although last year was my daughters first Christmas, we still weren’t sure the extent of her global development delay and her other disabilities.

She was also only 4 months old and so baby toys were brought in the anticipation of her playing with them.

This year however, I am more aware that she isn’t strong, more aware that she is delayed and more aware of her disabilities.

I went to the preschool/toddler toys in my local toy superstore and just looked. I walked over and picked up a few items, a walker, an activity table and just placed them back onto the shelves.

I decided to look at the items aimed at the children slightly younger than my daughter. Again, picking things up and then changing my mind.

I went back to the car and sat and just cried.

I know it sounds ridiculous, crying because I couldn’t find a toy for my daughter but actually it’s times like this that hit me the hardest.

It is times like this that remind me just how delayed my daughter is. It is times like this that make me realise how much I now just take as normal.

It is times like this that I mourn slightly, I mourn for the easy life my daughter could have had, and I mourn for the life I had hoped for her.

I cry as I realise people will start asking what to get the kids and this trip will come back into my thoughts as I cry and ask for vouchers, for when she is stronger.

We still have a stack of vouchers from her birthday that we don’t know what to spend them on.

This Christmas morning I will be grateful for the progression she has made, I will be grateful that she has proved the doctors and physiotherapists wrong, however I will also have that tang of sadness as I will think about the future, how many more Christmas’ will my daughter have, how far will her progress be next year.

This Christmas is my first Christmas as a physically disabled child’s mum and it is going to be hard to get through.

I hope future Christmas’ aren’t so emotional.


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