Monday, December 17, 2007

I believe...

I took my 8-year-old to the mall on Friday to see Santa. We stood in line for the obligatory 20 minutes, and I even shelled out the $15 they wanted for the little picture. I did it because my heart was being pulled by a million sappy heart strings. I held his hand in line and felt a combination of joy at his innocent excitement, and mourning at the loss that I know is going to come - probably by next year, maybe not until the next, of that Christmas wonder he was feeling.

While we stood in line, a little boy behind us decided to announce loudly that his little sister should be told there isn't a Santa by the time she's ten, since that's when he found out. I planted myself between that boy and mine, like a shield. He repeated his announcement three or four times before the mother came out of her stupor long enough to realize what her young charge was saying. She quietly chided him, and I wondered what effect, if any, his declaration would have on my son. Sure enough, with in a couple of minutes he asked me if I believe in Santa. "Of course I do," I said. "Yeah," he agreed, "parents would have to know. Since there are presents under the tree that they don't buy." And then of course I felt guilty. And sad. It's starting...the won't be long now.

But apparantly I've got a little more time. The next day, as we were driving in the car, he told me that when he grows up he wants to be Santa. I asked him how come, and he said: "For one thing, I believe in him. For another, he gets to travel all over the world. Plus his elves do all the work for him, he just sits around and eats cookies and hot chocolate all day. Besides, he gets to live forever."

"That does sound like a pretty sweet gig," I told him, "if you can get it."


Your favorite brother said...

I read this story and was reminded of the stages of christmas:

1. You believe in Santa
2. You don't believe in Santa
3. You are Santa
4. You look like Santa

Also after reading your letter about your illegal visit to your missionary son, I decided this was even more proof (as if we need it) that we are related.

On my way home from my mission, my travel companion (Elder Stephen L Richards) had aranged for us to have an entire day layover in Hawaii. He had also aranged to meet some friends (well, ok, they were girls, but it was NOT a date) who had reserved a car to rent for the day. When we got to the window we learned that our FRIENDS (not dates) were not 21 and so could not rent the car. Elder Richards and I were 21, but he had asked the mission president if he could drive in Hawaii and was told NO that is against the rules. I said "well, aren't we all glad that I didn't ask, so I haven't been told no.

Fortunately I am pretty sure the statute of limitations is up on this. We really had a great time, (boys in front, girls in back)Yes, Really!!!

Suzanne Reese said...

Oh that was soo much worse! I guess I'll need to blog about it now - as soon as I catch my breathe from being Santa's helper!

Candace E. Salima said...

Oh my gosh - love the story from your favorite brother.

Suzanne - what a sweet moment for you with your son. I know life and reality rush in all too soon on children today. When my four-year-old niece asked why there weren't any presents under our Christmas tree, I told her Uncle and I had to spend money on other things this Christmas so we were not going to get any presents. She looked at me with those big blue eyes, blond curls and all the sincerity and belief in a child's heart and said, "Auntie, Santa will be you and Uncle presents. That's what he does at our house, always! So it'll be okay."

Oh yeah, I had to scoop her up and hug and kiss her all over her face until she giggled for mercy. It was hard to do because my heart had melted into nothing but sloppy soup!