How My Son With Canavan Disease Taught Me You're Never Too Old to See Santa

I felt like the worst mom in the world. I received a call from our palliative care provider asking if my son would like a home visit from Santa since we missed the family Christmas party. I politely declined saying Maxie was an adult and at 20 years of age he was “too old for Santa.”

I immediately started second-guessing this decision and panicked thinking, “What if this is his last Christmas?” Yes, that’s an actual thing you think when your kid has Canavan disease.

Then 15 minutes later I saw a friend’s Facebook post about her son (he’s close to Max’s age and also has Canavan disease). He was smiling and happy in a picture with, you guessed it, Santa! The caption read, “Never too old to see Santa.” My heart sank in my chest, and I started crying because I felt like I’d made a huge mistake.

I picked up my son from his work program later that day, and I asked him if he wanted Santa to visit him. He immediately blinked really long, which means a big yes. So I called and left a frantic message to try and get Santa over for Maxie.

I finally received a call back a few days later. I put the call on speaker, and when the woman on the phone said Santa would come see Maxie he started smiling, laughing and doing his happy babbling. I cried tears of happiness because I’m not the “world’s worst mom” after all and now I know you’re never too old to see Santa.

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Getty image by Romolo Tavani

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