My oldest son came home from school the other day really mad. When I asked him what was bothering him he said, "They told me that there's no such thing as Santa." "They??" I asked ready to kick some booty. "Yeah, some of my friends," he said. Pause. "Tell me, Mom. Tell me the truth. Do you and Dad do it all? Do you guys put out all the gifts under the tree?" Wow. Why couldn't he have asked me where babies come from? Seriously, I've been waiting for that question. I'm prepared. I did my homework. I have an answer. But, the Santa question? He's only a little kid. OK. Maybe he's not all that little anymore, but I could have sworn I had at least another year before that question swapped me upside my stocking! I took a drink of water, a long drink, and then a deep breath, a real deep breath. I looked him in the eye, smiled my mommy smile and decided ever so clever to answer his question with another, tactfully buying myself a little more time. "Do you believe?" I asked. Pause. "Yep," he said, "I do". I exhaled, smiled, and said, "Well, there you have it! And, why do you believe in Santa?" He looked down and thought a minute, then said, "Because he'd be sad if I didn't." I got a little teary-eyed, I must admit. A mommy moment. I can tell he is starting to wonder if his friends are right, if there really isn't such thing as the Weinachtsmann a.k.a. Santa Claus. But, I can tell he doesn't wanna give up the magic just yet, that he's hanging on to Santa's sleigh with all his might and I love it. Juliette, another American blogger living in Germany, wrote in her post yesterday, "Sometimes it's hard to believe in the irrational. . .But I think if you're truly open minded you'll give the irrational a chance." Believing in the irrational opens up a thousand doors, a thousand possiblilities as to why things are the way they are; it takes the edge off life and makes it all the richer. I know the day will come when my boys won't believe in Santa, but until then I'll bask in that extraspecialsomething that their believing adds to the holiday season.
Happy Nikolaus to each of you! Did you put out your boots last night??