Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: It’s Christmas Day (in the present or living memory) (11/27/08)
TITLE: My Guys
By Nancy Higginson
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Behaviors increase as Thanksgiving approaches. The excitement they feel just cannot be contained, nor can it be expressed in acceptable ways. Too excited to be calm, they yell, they throw things, they tear up papers, and hit people. Always on our toes, our tension increases; they feel it and respond. Calm music and quiet activities are offered, as we try to regain what little control we can have. Wednesday is here. Pumpkin pie with whipped cream and a cup of hot cocoa. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving popped into the VCR. Such simple things bring so much joy to them. Peace for the rest of the day.
“It’s Christmas,” they will say as we begin the decorating on Monday. Paper chains, popsicle stick reindeer, pipe cleaner candy canes. Busy projects to make the time pass. We will color Christmas trees, paint paper angels. Splashes of color and joy will fill the building. We will send notes home about lunch parties and gift exchanges - notes sent home always mean good things and they are excited. Excitement will build as we put up the tree, and they help decorate it with the ornaments they have made this year and in years past.
On Christmas Eve their day will be happy, full of excitement. We will place the gifts under the tree, keeping a close eye that no one tries to open them. Christmas music will play, and we will have games with prizes. We will put all the tables together at lunch, and as a family we will eat. Everyone will be on their best behavior, not wanting any chances of consequences spoiling their day. Lunch will finish; they will be impatient while the clean up chores are hurried through. We will gather the chairs around the tree. Presents will be passed out and opened one at a time. Everyone will be happy; we have done our best to give them a great day. At four o’clock we will wish each other a Merry Christmas with hugs all around. We will be tired, but it will be a good tired, as we head for our homes, our families.
My children are grown, there is no magic in Christmas for them anymore. But for “my guys” there will always be magic in Christmas. And my magic comes from bringing it to them. On Christmas I will pray that their group homes will take the time and trouble to give them a wonderful Christmas. “My guys” will always depend on someone else to make Christmas special for them. They do not know the true meaning of Christmas, but I do and will continue show them His love through me.
Footnote: Working with the developmentally disabled has many challenges, but it also has many rewards. While the politically correct term my company uses is Consumers, I call them “My guys”. My guys are very special to me and have blessed me with a chance to continue to nurture and teach long past the time that my own children need me. I feel a vital need in the lives of my guys and they, in turn, fill one in mine.
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