What I asked Santa for

23 Dec

The last time I sat on Santa’s lap, I was a freshman in college. The fellow I was dating and I thought it’d be fun to get our photo taken with Santa (so somewhere, this pic exists — I have absolutely no idea where it is).

It was the first time I’d visited Santa in years — probably since sixth grade or junior high. (Yes, I still visited Santa in my preteen years, and maybe even as a young teenager; in case you couldn’t tell from this blog, I have something of a youthful spirit [which is it the nice way of saying “I’m probably kind of immature”].)

That year, as an 18-year-old student, I asked Santa for the very same thing I always asked Santa for.

My brother was born when I was 6 years old. I don’t really have any memories of what I asked for when I was much younger than that, or even when I was 7 and 8, before Joey was diagnosed with autism. I imagine I asked for Barbies and stuffed animals and Barbie houses and Barbie cars and books and holiday Barbies (I liked [ahem like] Barbies).

The only thing I can really remember asking Santa for, however, is that Joey would get better. I remember being embarrassed that that was what I asked for. I don’t remember why I was embarrassed, but I felt like no one else should hear my Christmas wish, that maybe, like a birthday wish, if other people knew it, it wouldn’t come true.

I remember climbing onto Santa’s lap, shyly. (I was always shy around Santa, because when I was little, I was monstrously afraid of Santa. Deathly. Insanely. Proof:

When I was in high school, Mom told me that was Dad in the costume. I still feel badly about that.

Santa always visited my aunt and uncle’s on Christmas eve. My family never forgot that the above happened. So the first time I bravely climbed on Santa’s lap without hyperventilating/sobbing, they applauded me. I was probably in second grade.)

Anyway, so I’d shyly climb on Santa’s lap. He’d ask me what I wanted for Christmas. I’d pull him close and whisper in his ear, “I want my brother to be better.”

I never elaborated, never asked for anything more or less than that. I knew enough to know this impostor whose lap upon which I sat wasn’t the real Santa, but I also knew he would going to tell the real Santa what I asked for. I didn’t want to get too greedy in case he only brought me one thing, and I didn’t want him to bring me the wrong thing.

I don’t remember ever expecting to wake up on Christmas morning and have Joey miraculous say, “Merry Christmas, Jaclyn.” I didn’t expect to have a prettily wrapped box that I opened to find empty, except for that whoosh of Christmas magic that flew up Joey’s nose and gave the appropriate medicine to his brain.

In fact, I don’t know that I ever thought my Christmas wish would come true. I never actually thought Santa could fix Joey.

But I always liked to ask for it, anyways. Just in case.

Jac & Joey this past Thanksgiving at my aunt and uncle's.


9 Responses to “What I asked Santa for”

  1. KLZ December 23, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    You are just the best sister.

    Merry Christmas. May your every wish come true.

  2. Ally December 23, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    I agree. You are the best sister ever. You have the most amazing heart.

    Merry Christmas, Jaclyn. To you, to your family, to Joey. Enjoy your holiday with them.

  3. scmomof2boys December 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    This is quite beautiful and I can only hope my little one will be the same wonderful advocate that you are. I wrote this post for him and I hope it will ring true. I think that you can relate to this…http://www.themommytimes.net/2011/10/my-mighty-little-man.html

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!!! I cried throughout the post and I wish THAT VERY SAME WISH FOR YOU AND I….

    Karen @TheMommyTimes

  4. Anna December 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    What a lovely story, and what a lucky to brother to have a sister as kind as you.
    Merry Christmas 🙂

  5. lindsey coulson December 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    such a sweet story! you have a great family – i hope you enjoy your christmas! visit my blog at hellohydrangea.blogspot.com 🙂

  6. Jennifer December 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    I so enjoyed your post…and I’ve showed it to so many friends and family! 🙂 Beautiful story.

    Have a wonderful holiday.




    PS – visitor from Freckled Nest

  7. Liz December 27, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    Wow…..you never told me about that!
    Also Joey is lucky to have you.

  8. jorjiapeach December 27, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    soooo beautiful.

    • Ann tortorello January 1, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

      You are so loved and Jaclyn keep asking. Who said that Santa ran out of miracles? You never know. Auntie Annie

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