12 Reasons My Son Made the Nice List
by Shannon Aronin on December 17th, 2015

‚ÄčEvery Christmas I make a Santa video for our son from Portable North Pole. This is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. It connects with your Facebook to pull pictures and asks you very specific questions about your child and the year they've had. Then you get this awesome personalized video message from Santa. We then use Chromecast to show it to him on the big screen. For those trying to extend the magic just a little longer, it's quite convincing. It takes 5 minutes. Add the Official NORAD Santa Tracker on Christmas Eve and bam! You have another year of Santa! 

So every year the video asks if Boo was on the naughty, nice or needs to try harder lists. In the past, he was always on the "come on you got this buddy, but try just a little bit harder" list, I think one year he even made the naughty list. Temporarily before I redid the video & showed it to him, I'm not a monster!

But this year, as I approached this pleasant holiday task, it dawned on me that my Boo had legitimately earned a spot on the nice list. He has really put in effort this year.

So in the spirit of the Twelve Days of Christmas, here are twelve reasons my son made the Nice List this year:

1. I'm proud my Boo was courageous about moving to California, starting a new school, and being brave when it just didn't work, and he had to start at another new school.

2. I'm proud of him for embracing his specialized non public school and working hard there to learn the social skills he needs. I'm relieved to see he is self aware enough to do the work and accept the help.

3, I'm proud that he withstood all the assessments that had to be done to get him here. He has been so accepting as we have moved from one specialist to the next, not to mention different sitters and just generally having people come and go.

4. I'm grateful he is so cooperative but opinionated about his medications. He takes the pills like a champ, trusts us, appreciates the help, and is rather precise in describing how a medication change is affecting him.

5. I'm grateful he is doing so well that for the first time in 3 years we are working towards cutting his medications.

6. I'm proud of the self advocate he has become. While compliance is an important skill that he needs to learn a modicum of, I'm really glad he dug his heels in when a new bus driver wanted him to get in without a car seat. I'm glad he knew enough to be mad when he had trouble accessing his medication. He will always be able to put up a fight if he needs to.

7. Boo has always had a lion sized heart. Not great at perspective taking, but once a situation is explained to him you can't find a kinder soul. This year we watched him make actual friends and repeatedly show compassion for other people's troubles. He has learned to be a generous advocate for others as well.

8. I'm inspired by his optimism. No matter what he has been through, the kid is a trooper. All the professionals ask him routinely how things are going. He ALWAYS says Good! And he sincerely means it. He never lets having autism or ADHD get him down. He loves his family, his dogs, his school, his friends, his toys, his theme song is literally "Everything is Awesome." They say resiliency is a huge predictor of success. I predict my boy will be hugely successful.

9. I'm delighted by his curiosity. I'm often taken off guard by the questions. He has a lot of them, but he is so eager to understand the world. And he's not afraid to push to get answers to big, meaningful questions.

10, My son sets an example of how to live life to the fullest. He has enriched my life with his unbridled joy and rose colored glasses. He literally doesn't care what anyone thinks. While this has its downsides, he actively chooses to be different among the different solely for the sake of being different. Sometimes I may wish he would fit in just a little, but that's not who he is.

11. I love watching him pursue new interests. I'm hopeful that we might have seen Minecraft peak and I think he's between obsessions right now. I'm really pulling for the piano to take root next.

12. He talks to me! I mean really talks to me. I think we have built a stronger foundation for our relationship this year. I think I might have a kid who is willing to talk to me about stuff going on in his life in the years ahead. The one caveat being he has to remember to tell me. Maybe  we will work on his memory this year.

So congrats to my boy, I'm sure Santa will be very good to him this year!


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1 Comments

Carrie Sheridan - December 18th, 2015 at 5:08 AM
Lots to be proud of on that list! Cataloging the good stuff is a great idea!
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