Sunday, December 25, 2011

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I just wanted to write to say thank you for what you do for my little boy. He is a blessing, and while I'm sure you can't take responsibility for who he is (I suppose I deserve at least a little credit and/or blame for that), I think you still deserve a nod for keeping his belief strong. He hasn't been bitten by the skepticism that most nine-year-old's allow to happen.

He diligently spoke of you this evening, wondering aloud about whether we would get home before you arrived (we did), and what he would write in his letter to you. If it was an act, he was putting on a performance worthy of Laurence Olivier. At home, before I could even get upstairs, he had already changed into his pajamas and cleaned up the living room. Only you have the power to make that happen without badgering him.

He thought hard about his letter to you. In the car, he discussed if he should ask you about your boot size. Ultimately he passed on that question but opted for your thoughts about M&M's. He also considered what you wanted to drink. Maybe a Vitamin Water? No - he figured you might want some water, given that so many other kids leave beer or milk for you. His thinking what that water would keep kidney stones away. He saw me suffer with that last year and didn't want you to meet the same fate. Soon he was tucked away in bed.

I know he is a "young" nine, in that there is a wondrous amount of naivete in him. That's a blessing and a curse, but I love that innocence. Especially tonight, as you can imagine.

We did our best this year, you and I. He won't be thrilled with the clothes portion of his gifts (no kid ever is) but I hope he appreciates the other goodies. He's still too young to grasp the concept of simply wishing for health and happiness, and I read the look on his face when we gathered with our family this evening and the amount of packages thrust in front of him paled in comparison. He simply isn't at the point of understanding quantity versus quality, or getting the "true meaning of Christmas", or that having love of family and friends is enough. Believe me, he has an abundance of that.

With all of that said, I know he won't read this, so I can tell you out loud (and then again, you being omnipotent, you already know) that I bought him a Trivial Pursuit game based on the TV show Family Guy. Some uptight, Parents magazine-reading parent will no doubt condemn me to being the worst parent since the most recent bad parent, but I'll live with it. For us, it is an important father/son point of bonding. The show was something that helped bring us together during some rough times. We sat together, in my room, and watched the show. To him it's a cartoon, and as I've already mentioned, he is quite naive (as was I around the same age). Most of the jokes go over his head. Beyond that, we have an understanding about not repeating what we see. It's our little thing. Sorry if that offends some of my readers, but I think you understand.

I'm sorry for these rambling thoughts, but I wanted to reinforce that you have a very strong believer sleeping upstairs. That seems rare to me, as too many kids - especially the tougher, more jaded ones - want to ruin it for others. He believes in you and it is touching to see. He won't always, but like most of us, he'll come back.

We all do.

Merry Christmas, and thank you.


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