Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 14, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 17, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Gave my Love .... a Colander?

With Christmas right around the corner, now is the time I usually start hinting to my husband about potential Christmas presents. I'll say things like....

"Gee Hon, that sure is a lovely necklace they have over at the mall."


"There's a ton of new books at Barnes and Noble I'd love to read."

But over the years, I have learned that this tactic is not an effective one.

I struggled for a long time trying to understand my husband's lack of ability to understand "hints". Was he just being stubborn? Were the items too expensive? Did he need to have his hearing checked?

It wasn't until my son, Weston was diagnosed with ADHD, that I finally was able to understand Pete.

Pete was never diagnosed with ADHD. But after surfing the web for educational articles and reading books written by the likes of Ed Hallowell and Russell Barkley, I am convinced that my husband, Pete also suffers from ADHD.

His lack of ability to understand hints and innuendo, his need for constant movement and activity, his love of video and computer games....now make perfect sense to me, thanks to Weston.

It wasn't until last Christmas that I received an official confirmation.

Under the Christmas tree, was a large box wrapped with beautiful holiday paper that was addressed to me. I was stunned. What could it be, I thought to myself? I was so happy that my husband had finally thought of me. He had actually put a lot of effort into wrapping the present, as gifts from my husband usually come in plain envelopes or wrapped in CVS bags.

Was it a music box? Maybe a snow globe? A lovely figurine?

"Nope," my husband said. I would just have to wait.

As Christmas morning finally came, I opened the present with reckless abandon, anxious to see what my thoughtful husband had so carefully selected for me. I ripped off the paper, tore open the box and starred at my present with disbelief....as there inside the box sat a beautiful.......


I looked curiously at my husband. Was this a joke? Was my real present cleverly concealed underneath this kitchen utensil? No, nothing underneath....

My husband looked at me and smiled, quite pleased with his purchase, certain that I was going to love it.

Now I must admit, it IS the most beautiful colander I have ever seen. It is shiny and metallic, almost too expensive-looking for draining pasta or washing lettuce. It actually sparkles under the light.

"I know you needed one," Pete said, "and this one just looked so pretty. When I saw it, I thought of you."

It was then that I realized how fortunate I truly am to have this wonderful man in my life. He does not place value on material things. He does not try to impress others. He sees the beauty in things that may appear ordinary to others. But most importantly, he knows just what I need. Whether it is a long silent hug, some straight forward advice or just a single comment that breaks my tense mood and just makes me laugh. By embracing the beauty of this simple colander, he made me realize that he is the perfect father to our children for he truly sees what others cannot.

I realized that like this ordinary colander, I too am an ordinary Mom with an ordinary function. But to my husband I am not like this colander because it is ordinary, I am like this colander because I am an ordinary Mom who is also bright and shiny. To him, I sparkle. To Pete I am one-of -a-kind.

I use this colander a lot. And every time I do, I laugh out loud. I think it is hilarious how this shiny, beautiful, ordinary kitchen utensil that I use every day is what made my husband think of me.

Now while I do appreciate my one-of-a-kind colander, this year I have a new tactic for Christmas, I am just going to hand him a picture of this:

I hope this time, he gets the hint.