When the holidays roll around every year, a lot of children beg their parents for a trip to the mall, eager to meet Santa Claus.
It was become a tradition since a long time ago, and Baiz Weerts has wanted to participate in it since he was 2. But fear is one crippling issue has always held the now-8-year-old back.
The second-grader from Illinois has autism as well as an anxiety disorder called selective mutism. Although he has no trouble speaking at home, he often shuts down in social situations. So he hasn’t been able to meet Santa over the last six years, despite his want to.
“Baiz asks to go to the mall almost every weekend. He’s like ‘I’m gonna do it this time!’ But as soon as we get there, he freezes,” his mother, Sheila Seelye said. “So, we sit and watch from afar while he works through his feelings.”
But just recently, a visit to the Gurnee Mills Shopping Center ended much differently for the little boy. Layna, Baiz’s twin sister, wanted to meet Santa, so Sheila took both of them the weekend before Thanksgiving. Sadly, Baiz couldn’t bring himself to follow his sister as she ran up to Saint Nicholas. Baiz was frustrated as he climbed into a shopping cart and cried. Santa himself noticed and came right over after meeting with Layna.
Sheila watched, she was amazed as Santa did and said all the right things. He stroked the boy’s hair, reassuring him that everything was fine, and even gave him a sticker.
“He kept telling him, ‘You’re OK buddy. You’re gonna be OK,’” Sheila said. “He knew just what Baiz needed in that moment. I’ve never seen him so happy.”
Even though the day started out rough for Baiz, but later on, he told Sheila, “I believe that was the real Santa mommy, I feel it in my soul.” He definitely has a heart as kind as the big man.
Click below to watch as Baiz finally meets Santa.
Posted by Sheila Weidner Seelye on Saturday, November 16, 2019