16 Wednesday Oct 2013
This column first appeared in the Oct. 16th issue of the St. Maries Gazette Record.
As you might notice, there are familiar themes that also appear in a column of mine from last year, We Believe. I believe that is no accident. My kids – Jack in particular – have a way of drawing out the magic of this time of year and, in doing so, make it even more special.
I hope to never lose sight of that.
Last night Jack asked me where Santa lives. So I told him, in extraordinary detail, that Santa lived at the North Pole with his elves and his wife and reindeer in a beautiful log cabin that had a fireplace in every room. Mrs. Claus bakes fresh pies every night, and even the reindeer get to eat dinner around the dining room table with the family. Next to the cabin is the elves’ workshop where they work all year long preparing for Christmas.
But, wait. Workshops are where you build things out of wood, right? What about Legos? They aren’t made of wood. Santa brings Legos – they’ve been under our tree – so that would mean that the elves made those Legos. But how?
One thing about dreamers, they have lots of questions. They want to make sure that the details of what they’re imagining lines up with the beauty as they see it.
So I explained how the elves used magic to build toys that might not be made out of wood and that, by the way Jack, not all workshops were just for woodworking, but we could get to that another time … now back to the magic.
So, who is watching us then, Santa or the elves? You know, to know exactly what we want? Because last year he got it wrong. I wanted a Super Samurai Power Ranger, the red one, but I got a bike. I mean, the bike was pretty awesome, but I talked about that Super Samurai Power Ranger a lot.
The story, as you can imagine, got more elaborate with each interruption. I countered each question with more magic, which satisfied his wistful nature. And mine as well.
A nudge of Christmas spirit and a bedtime story. Check and check. It was a good night.
Until I ruined it the next morning when he came to tell me something about Batman, and the familiarity with which he talked about the superhero foolishly made me think I should explain to my son – right now, before he gets his hopes up! – that there are no such things as superheroes.
Mom, of course he’s real. (Sigh). He’s very popular. Like Santa.
Fortunately, he only saw my folly for what it was: A mom too wrapped up in balance sheets and budgets and bills to allow herself to believe that men in tights fight on rooftops to keep us mortals safe. Because, of course they do. To a six-year-old they do.
In much the same way that, to my younger self, I believed that if I could find just the right blue dress and just the right black saddle shoes and black ribbon for my hair and just the right knotty hole under just the right gigantic tree, maybe I could find my way to Wonderland.
Another thing about dreamers, it’s all or nothing. If there’s a Santa, there’s a Batman. And there’s a rabbit hole. Sometimes you just have to give yourself permission to look for it – even in your thirties.
Of course, it does help to have a guide. Check.