Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas, from us to you.

Merry, merry, merry.

Merry, x3.

Our three little loves had a fantastic Christmas. They've got Grandparents and Great Grandparents coming out of their ears. So you can bet that we've got a mountain of toys in the middle of the living room that wasn't there a week ago.

A motorcycle ride-on thingy for Macyn. A big boy drill set for Carter. Paw Patrol stuff. Baby dolls. Race tracks (Be careful of little girls who have long hair and like to play with race cars. I've heard sometimes hair can get caught in the wheel, only to be worked on for 40 minutes before deciding to destroy the car in order to avoid cutting out a chunk of hair. I've heard.)  Throw in some twinkling lights and christmas cookies and 'Jingle Bells' (on repeat) and that about sums up our Christmas season.

All good stuff.

But there's so much more. This was the Christmas of our dreams, maybe. Partly because the grandparents didn't totally outdo themselves. Partly because we were able to stay home and have family come to our house (which is a huge win for Carter boy!). Partly because Jake and I worked together as a team to set our kids up for success.

Mostly that.

What do our kids need? What can we do as parents (who, ideally, should have our own selves together enough to put them first) to help our kids succeed? What do our kids need to be their best selves? Can we give them that?

Macyn and Silas don't need much to be successful. They're very easy-going, happy, calm kiddos. Toss a few gifts at them and they'll be happy for hours.

But Carter needs more. And up until recently, we failed to recognize that. We'd drag him to long family gatherings and expect him to hold it together. That's just not something he's capable of right now, and we're okay with that. So the family adjusts, with gladness.

This little book was a project I worked on over the fall. It's a book about our family for Macy (and eventually, Silas). The note on the inside reads: "To Macy, Our family is unique in many special ways. This book is only the beginning of helping you to see the great value that our uniqueness brings! Go 'Team Gibson'!"

We're unique. Fantastically, so. And we embrace it.

Carter has become harder and harder to buy meaningful gifts for. This year the toy grill (complete with burger & the fixin's) was a hit, along with his real drill set and a big red truck like Brad's. The t-shirt below was possibly made for Carter (although the joke is lost on him). 

But we really wanted to find one more thing that would speak to him - saying "Hey, bud. We get you. We understand you. We think you're awesome."  So Jake did some shopping. He's the thoughtful gift giver of the family, so it only made sense that he lead the way on this.

Eventually, he found what would seemingly be the perfect gift for our garbage-loving 9 year old. It was a small, residential size garbage can. Complete with clasping lid, handle for pulling, and of course - wheels. Unfortunately, it was out of stock in all the big-box stores around us and we were too close to Christmas to have anything shipped.

Bummer, dude. Maybe next year!

But then...Jake decided to contact the company that manufactures these little garbage cans. The brand is 'Toter' and they were a dream to talk to on the phone. Jake explained why we'd want one of these garbage cans - we've got a 9 year old with special needs who loves nothing more than taking out garbage, shaking the garbage bag, throwing garbage in the can, etc. After talking for a bit, Jake learned that they don't have an option to purchase an individual item (and we weren't interested in purchasing a bulk set of garbage cans...sorry Carter!). 

Bummer, dude. Maybe next year!

But then...Shelley from Toter called Jake back and asked if she could get our address. She was excited to share that her amazing management team agreed to do what they could to get us ONE garbage can, in time for Christmas. Perfect!

"How much do we owe you?"

"Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas to you, too. How can we get payment to you?"

"That won't be necessary. Merry Christmas."

Cheesy grin, proud stance, I imagine he's feeling so very known and understood. My people get me. They really get me!

Fantastically unique - we know not everyone has a green garbage can in their living room on Christmas morning. But here we are! Embracing it, this Christmas and beyond.

Thanks, Toter. You've reminded us that sometimes our life takes a little extra work, and sometimes it takes help from others, but it's so worth it on Christmas morning. You helped to make this boy's Christmas very special, indeed.

One Thing I Know For Sure: "GARBAAAAGE!!! Shake, shake bag!! Toys in garbage! Hahaha! Empty garbage!!! Pull garbage can!!",  on repeat.

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