When my son was a small boy, he wrote a letter to Santa with his Christmas list on it. He took that letter and put it in the mailbox put the flag up and announced to his Dad and I that his list was done and now he just had to wait for Christmas. When I asked what he had asked for he said that I didn't really need to know because Santa would take care of it and I could just wait and be surprised. He would not budge. It took some fast work to get to the mailbox before the mailman, without him seeing to get that list!!
I still have that list. It was so sweet and hopeful for the season. It was grateful and yet a little boy who couldn't contain a desire for so many little boy things. It was a magical time.
Addiction took away all of that. During his using years, I would ask my son what he wanted and it was always the same....money. I didn't/couldn't/wouldn't see what was going on. But, deep down I knew that things weren't right. Anyway, the excitement was gone.
Last year, we spent Christmas with my son but not until Christmas Eve did we even see him. We had shut him out unless he chose rehab. We hadn't seen him in quite some time and the Dad was starting to really lose it so we decided to just show up and see how he was. He was sober. It was our best gift.
This year one of the best gifts I'm already receiving is his ever growing list. He's 22 years old but I'm receiving reminders, notes, and sizes on the dry erase board. Last night he told me the two items he wanted....again and then named two more. I said, "hey you said if you got those two you'd be happy." He responded, " the other two went so well I thought I'd see how far I could go."
This gift I'm really getting is my son feels like part of the family again. He feels comfortable enough to be that little boy again. Addiction isn't controlling his every thought. It's been so long since I've seen this young man with glimpses of that little boy still in there. That is so wonderful.
I'm so thankful today for the progress we've made. I'm thankful for the gift of my son. I pray for those of you still in the fight for your sons and daughters...may you get them back too. I pray for the perseverance of those in recovery and I pray for Henry.