Our neighborhood has quite a few wonderful traditions – a fourth of July pool party that is pure insanity, Memorial Day cookouts, Easter Egg hunts, Halloween parades on spooky paths, and Santa comes riding thru the hood on a big honkin’ sleigh fire truck every December.
My kids love these little rituals. They bring everyone together – in the rain, in the snow, in the burning hot – neighbors come out in droves. Most of the time we can’t wait to get there. Sometimes, it’s like going to the grocery store – even if you don’t necessarily feel like going, you go. Even if you don’t necessarily celebrate that particular holiday, you show up. It’s just part of what you do. And, we are always so glad we have been.
This year Bear was invited to ride on the fire truck with Santa. This was a big deal for him. He was more excited than he will ever admit. But I am his mother – I know how he feels about it. It is quite a rite of passage to go from the little kid receiving the reindeer food and the candy cane to becoming the big kid handing them out. Plus, you get to ride inside the big honkin’ fire truck. Seriously, it’s pretty cool.
I am glad he got to be up close and personal with Santa this year. He knows that this is not the real Santa. I have always told my kids that the Santas at the mall and on fire trucks are just helping the big guy out. He is much too busy to ride around on trucks and sit at the mall all day. But rest assured that all of these Santas have a direct link to the Jolly ole Saint Nick himself and they are taking names – so yes, you’d better watch out. And as for me, I just happen to have Santa’s phone number – that is a whole mommy arsenal in the war against bad behavior.
But this year is a sad year for me because Bear is in a world of disbelief over the big jolly guy. He is pretty sure he thinks that no one is the real Santa. He is no longer convinced. Believe you me, I am working hard to continue the lies I have perpetrated over, well, his whole life. This is because I know there is more to Santa than a red suit and a bowl full of jelly. It’s the magic that I don’t want him to let go of just yet. Not until he can get his heart around how wonderful it is to play Santa.
And, thankfully, he is a kind little bear. He has not shattered the hopes and dreams of his sisters. He has not said a word to them. Maybe he knows better – but I prefer to think that he is not absolutely, completely sure of his conviction just yet.
The other day, Bear happened upon some (hidden) stuffed animals that the kids had seen in the store and asked for. As many parents have said before me, I told them they should ask Santa for the ridiculously overstuffed and very large animals. Because there is no way in H-E-double toothpicks that I am buying them. He knew that his sisters would be going into that room, so he hid them. And he hid them pretty well. The reason that Bear stumbled upon these little surprises is because number one hubby sent the kids to that exact room to get out the Christmas decorations – I know, I know, he is going to lose that number one status quicker than the grinch stole Christmas – I immediately went downstairs to hand them out. To convince them they weren’t meant to be a surprise from Santa. Oh no, not from Santa.
Sigh. Another lie. These are surprises that Dad asked me to get for you I said to them with a completely straight face. He wanted to give them to you so you would think of him while he is gone. And, yes, we’ll figure out a way to get them to India and, yes, I will figure out what else Santa is going to surprise you with. Thanks dear.
So, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to convince Bear not to be so unconvinced just yet. I will let you know how it goes.
Number one hubby arrived this morning from India. So you may not read too much of me over the next fews days – you might – but you might not. We’ll see. But just in case, Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!