Santa did more than tell a little boy that it’s okay to be himself, he also showed us how to be better people ourselves.
Sometimes the Christmas spirit is shown to us when we’re least expecting it. Like in a mall on a busy shopping day, just after having met Santa. At least that’s what happened to Naomi Johnson’s soon-to-be 7 year-old son, Logan, after meeting Santa at RiverTown Crossings mall in Grandville, Michigan.
Naomi explained the heart-warming story on the mall’s Facebook page, and it quickly went viral, evidence to so many of us that there is still so much goodness in the world.
Landon’s isn’t the only story about the magic of a shopping mall Santa this season. In a moving video, a little girl sits on Santa’s lap and her mother cautions the jolly bearded one that her daughter doesn’t speak well. Instead of just placating the child, Santa starts to sign. The joy at having someone try to understand and speak with her is obvious on the little girl’s face.
For Naomi, having someone as important as Santa tell Landon that it’s okay to be himself was incredibly moving. For the rest of us, these beautiful moments with some very special Santas are a lesson in how to truly love children. She told me that she is happy that the story is going viral, and that it’s “a great way to show and prove that there is still good out there in this world!”
I had an AMAZING experience w the Santa at the RiverTown Crossings Mall and I want to share my story with you:
My child is amazing! He has his quirks and drives me bonkers, but he is amazing! The other day he went to see Santa w the cousins. He said his peace to the old man in red and walked away. While aunt Brittany waited for pictures to print, he went back to Santa bc he wanted to tell him that he has Autism. He was flapping his hands, all excited to let Santa know that he has autism.
Santa sat him next to him and took L’s hands in his and started rubbing them, calming them down. Santa asked L if it bothered him, having Autism? L said yes, sometimes. Then Santa told him it shouldn’t. It shouldn’t bother him to be who he is. L told Santa that sometimes he gets in trouble at school and it’s hard for people to understand that he has autism, and that he’s not a naughty boy. Santa told L to not worry and that he has been a very good boy being who he is. They sat, and chatted for at least 5 mins. Santa payed close attention and listened to him. This just melts this momma’s heart! My child is a great advocate for himself. But this day was different.
He opened up to this person about who he was and he was accepted. He wasn’t a science experiment, like he gets treated when most people find out he autistic. He was Landon, sitting with Santa and being told that it was ok to be himself. Mommy tells him all the time that he’s special and I love him the way he was made, but it’s always nice to hear it from others. To be told that it’s ok to be who he is.
We have met a lot of amazing people in our Autism journey, but this one made the top of the list.
Shout out to the Santa at the RiverTown Crossings Mall. You.are.AMAZING!
Yes, you are, Santa. And so are you Naomi and Logan (and Aunt Brittany)!