Wait Stop

Lately, I’m spending a lot of time reminding myself to remember this moment. I’m taking mental photographs of everything and searing the remaining babyisms in my brain (the latest, and newest, clubhammer: the ending of the movie that leaves you wondering what will happen in the next movie. See: Mama, I can tell we’re going to get a clubhammer in this movie. What will Spiderman do next?! Also, if you haven’t seen Into the Spiderverse, it was great). If I get the chance to cuddle, I’m cuddling. And even though last week’s solo bedtimes were hard, I reminded myself overandoverandover that this prolonged reading/rocking/holding time was nearly past.

This is the time of year where one of the biggest growing up milestones happens. Santa. We’ve established here (and can you BELIEVE the oldest post is from 2009? You guys, we’ve been together nearly 10 years. I love you, too.) that Santa is alive and well and, no, I’m not willing to entertain your “beliefs” about the matter. After ten years, it’s like you don’t even know me. And we are not going to couples counseling. To the point, we’re fully committed to Santa. We read the books (this one, in particular, is wonderful), we make the calls and get the videos, and we discuss the vagaries of chimney negotiation and “helpers.”

I imagine this will be the last year she visits and sits next to him. Some of her friends are already too grown-up for this activity and I imagine she’ll be one of the older ones visiting him this weekend. I don’t have any particular attachment to that moment because it’s not a part of my own childhood. Santa, my father explained, is far too busy to sit around listening to kids make their case right before Christmas. No, those are just guys in suits doing good deeds. So we’re done with “lap sitting” (there are not actual laps involved, thank goodness) and I’m probably not going to tear up. Probably.

Once she says she doesn’t believe anymore we’ll have a choice. Do we go the route my family took or do we go the popular route: Yes darling, you’re right, but now you get to be the Santa Claus for other people. I mean, I’m obviously buying the Santa gifts here. It will break my heart to say it. It looks like I won’t have to make the choice this year (we’re already picking the kind of cookies to leave out) and thank goodness for that. I’m still grieving my dad, I’m not ready to lose Santa.

3 Responses

  1. I am 12 and 14 years older than my youngest siblings. By the time they stopped believing in Santa, another sister had started having kids (although there may have been a year gap in there without a Santa?), so by the time mine copped to not believing anymore (she rode that train because, ‘no offense mom, but you just don’t spend money like Santa does’), I realized I had gone 45 Christmases with Santa.

    Not having Santa changes Christmas a little bit, but I assure you, it’s still magical. After 45 years with Santa, I thought it would be hard, but Halloween was SO much harder. When you give up trick or treating, the entire holiday changes – I’m still admittedly weepy over this. Christmas without Santa just means we don’t have to be so quiet or so sneaky about putting out presents Christmas eve.

    • Oh no, now I’m dreading Halloween! BUT I’m glad to hear this news about Santa. I’ll keep it in mind as I try not to cry when she opens her gifts.

  2. We’ll do Santa forever as far as I’m concerned. We tell Isa, “If you don’t believe, you don’t receive.” More as a reminder that she better not ruin it for Maya.
    Even the dog gets a present from Santa.

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