I have a Christmas card that I will keep forever. It means a lot to me. It is from my son.
The card is not pretty. It is not in Christmas colours. It is made from construction paper and recycled cards. But before I tell you more about what it looks like, I would like to tell you why it is so meaningful to me.
My son has dyslexia. School has been a challenge for him, and there have been many ups and downs. One time when he was only in grade two, he wanted to run away from home and go to his grandparents’ where he wouldn’t have to go to school or do homework. He packed his backpack, and drove down the sidewalk on his bike. I told him to be very careful by the highway (okay, I admit, I did hype it up a bit and say it was really busy and that traffic goes really fast, and that they might not see a boy on a bike if he wasn’t careful). (I also admit I cried when he biked away, even though I could still see him). In about 15 minutes he came back, and went to the back of the pick-up truck. He declared he was going to camp in there until Daddy brought him to his grandparents. (And now, I admit, I laughed and shed a few more tears- without him seeing that, of course). It was a rough time.
We worked hard together; the teachers worked hard too. He came out of this slump and made some gains in his learning, and in his understanding of himself.
And then came another dark time of anxiety and feeling overwhelmed- when he worked so hard but did not see progress, or simply became discouraged facing school all the time. It was also a dark time of year as we neared Christmas. He was cranky and uncooperative with everybody that year.
Out of this dark time came the Christmas card that I cherish. For while other children made nice green and red Christmas-themed cards for their parents with the Nativity Scene, angels, and glitter, I got something very different. It gave me a glimmer of hope. In the frame of mind he was in, I did not expect a card at all.
My card was all BLACK, with a picture of the GRINCH slapped on front. The message on the inside was a little white square, barely an inch around, that said : To Mom From C.
A simple card, but with huge impact. That out of his dark place and in his own particular way, he could still summon up enough strength to tell his mother that he cared for her. And part of me thinks he did it for a joke. To this day, the card makes me laugh (and yes, I admit, shed the occasional tear).
I will cherish it always.