Even though it had been nice, Nicky’s second Christmas didn’t meet my expectations. Perhaps it was just an indication of where I was emotionally. We didn’t have any extra money and our families knew it. Our siblings all asked what the boys wanted and they were showered with toys. They were very generous. Nicky wasn’t too aware of the presents, but he did like looking at the shiny papers strewn around. I wanted to give a handmade gift to my sons. I had gotten a pattern for a cute teddy bear, it was about 6 inches tall. I still had some white pile material left over from Nicky’s Halloween bunny suit and batting from making quilts so they didn’t cost me anything. I thought that they were cute. Ryan preferred all the fun toys that he got, but he did put the bear on his bed next to his pillow so that felt nice. Nicky wouldn’t hold onto the bear, he just let it drop to the floor and then crawled over to the crinkled up wrapping paper. I wanted to be the one that provided the favorite present for Christmas. It made me sad that I couldn’t do that for my kids.
A few days later I went to the Goodwill to see what might be on sale after Christmas. I packed up the boys and drove to the store. Right inside the door were two rocking horse climb on toys. One of our friends had one at their house, and Ryan loved it. Although we had to hold Nicky on the horse, he loved rocking on it also. I felt really sad looking at those two horses. I thought, “I would love to have them for my boys. It would be so good for Nicky, but I am sure that they are too much money.” I turned to walk away and Ryan yelled at me, tugging on my hand, “Mommy, come back, I want it, Mommy get both. I have one and Nicky have one. Please Mommy, Please!”
I was ready to tell him that we couldn’t afford it, and the clerk came up. She said, “they are on sale mam, did you see the price?” I said that I hadn’t looked. She explained that they were marked down and also everything in the store was 50% off, so they would cost $5 each. I was stunned. I did have $12.00 in my purse. I handed over my money and received some change back. It was a tight fit in our car, but each rocking horse could be separated from the frame and springs, so we packed them between and around the car seats. Ryan was so excited that he didn’t even complain about being so crowded on the way home.
Over time Nick gained enough core strength to be able to stay on the horse himself, but at the beginning I sewed a harness out of canvas to keep him in the saddle. He loved it and would rock for hours if we would let him. We had those horses in our living room for years. I didn’t know it at the time, but later when we learned about Sensory Integration therapy we would understand how important this rocking experience had been to his development.
We believe that on more occasions than we can recount, we have been provided with whatever Nick has needed for his entire life. Some might call these experiences coincidences, but I know them to be miracles.
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