Clouds, May 2010

Clouds, May 2010

Thursday, December 29, 2011

a very hayden chrismukah

The holiday season kicked off with the first nights of Chanukah, followed by a visit from Santa that same week. He arrived on a firetruck direct from the local engine company. I am guessing Hayden vaguely remembered from last year, which was the first year that we made an Operation Santa donation to have Hayden added to the Santa visit list. I believe he remembered because before it even happened, he was asking questions and talking about a firetruck and Santa... and well, it's just too much of a coincidence. He may have heard other children talking at school, but I know his memory and I bet it was in there.

The rumble of the engine and the whirl of the siren crept up our street, followed by the wide glow of the lights and the additional blinking decorations adorning the truck. Then, around the bend, the truck itself climbed the road as if following its own introduction.

Hayden was initially unsure and borderline nervous (rightfully so, because he knows what firetrucks are for)-- and then I knelt in front of him and offered my curiosity and excitement. Once he saw Santa, there was a lot of screaming and jumping and cheering and "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" I could barely hear a thing by the time the quick visit was all over, but that lingering and beaming smile on Hayden's face was perfect.

He tore open a small gift (which of course, unbeknownst to him, we provided ahead of time) and absolutely loved it like it was the best thing in the world.

I'm sure the nightly Chanukah gift helped to keep momentum going. By the second or third night, when I recited the baruchah and got to the last part "...l'chad liknair, shel..." Hayden appropriately concluded, "Chanukah!" on cue. (Mainly pronounced "honkah").

However, it took a couple more nights to explain that we don't blow the candles out because it's not a birthday.


For every night, as soon as it got dark out or he smelled dinner cooking (which ever came first), he "reminded" me about Honkah. This year's Christmas arrival was a little bit confusing because typically Chanukah is complete by the 25th. But it was nice having another couple nights to slowly ween him out of the holiday excitement with a few lingering gifts.

He spent weeks talking about having Honkah and hanging stockings from the fireplace-- which, following Christmas morning, he was ready to take them down. (Visual cue of task completed.)

Christmas Eve we celebrated Chanukah with cousin Flora. They continue to interact absolutely adorable together. The winner gift that evening was from Aunt Jenna and Uncle Daniel-- a tall-as Hayden gas pump! He also got an ever-amazing iPad from Grandma & Poppy, to carry over use of Apps that his S.T. has been working on with him at school.

Christmas morning came and for some reason H woke up sick, but I think the build-up of anticipation may have gone right to his stomach. He just got sick the one time, and that was it. (The following morning his body decided on a random nosebleed instead.)

Last year for Christmas breakfast at Aunt Dana's, Hayden only wanted to bring his new (at the time) guitar. This year it was a simple Cars2 pad and pen set, which he carried everywhere. Until he opened the gift of all gifts from Grandma & Grandpa...
A Cadillac pick-up truck towing a trailer with a red & white speedboat on it.

Later that afternoon Christmas concluded at Dan's aunt's house. Less chaotic than you would think everyone enjoyed the obscenely generous spread of Italian food. After the feast, we even got all fourteen cousins lined up on the couch for the "19 & under" pic (3 are new to the family, by aunt Dana's second marriage... though 11 is a steep number in itself). 


The following day (yes, there's more) we met at Grandma Suzi and Poppa Z's house to visit with cousins who were down from Maine. And celebrate some more Chanukah, of course.

The very next evening, Hayden had a sleepover at Grandma & Grandpa's house (with cousin Kaityn), so Dan & I could work on Wednesday.

It's been a whirlwind of a winter break... New Year's will likely be a lot calmer. Possibly another sleepover, this time at Grandma & Poppy's. We'll see.

But for someone who is quite prone to anxiety, and has a prevalence of "colorful" behaviors (to the fault of that fragile x of course)... He has been gliding through all the festivities like a pro mingler.

He knows how to have fun, our little big guy. Delete that from the list of things to teach him.

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