Tuesday, December 4, 2001

Santa Claus

So I'm picking my son up from school today and he blurts out, "Joshua said there's isn't a Santa Claus, is that true?" He's six and I'm thinking, "Should I tell him?" I say, being very conscious of the other 5 year old boy sitting next to him (I pick up a friends little boy everyday as well as my son), "Ummm, welllll, in a way Santa exists, but I'll talk to you about it when we get home. I flash back to when I was about his age. I was at my Grandma's house in suburban Pennsylvania for some family get together (not Christmas). My cousin and I were playing in the huge apple tree in Grandmas back yard. Somehow we got on the subject of Christmas and Santa Claus. I made a reference to Santa slaving away making all those toys, and my cousin yells out, "You still believe in Santa Claus?!?" "What do you mean?" I replied. "There Is No Santa Claus!" he yelled out from the top branch of the tree."Is so!" I yelled back. "Your just a baby, everybody knows there is no Santa Claus!" I was silent, Then it hit me, what if he was right. I panicked and crying ran into the house to get my Grandma in on this. Surely she would make this better, she would tell me my cousin was lying and yes indeed there was a Santa. I found her in the kitchen cooking an early dinner. "Grandma!" I screamed, Gavin says there isn't a Santa Claus! He said I was a baby for still believing in Santa!" She stopped cooking, turned slowly and then sat down at the kitchen table. She motioned me to sit next to her. After I sat down she patted my leg and took her time to speak. I was ready, ready for her to fix this situation- tell me there was a Santa and then I could go outside and confront my cousin with a new round of Grandma Ammunition. But what she said left me hanging and didn't fix anything at all. "You better ask your mother and father about that Devin," she said. "What...what do you mean?" I asked. "You should really ask your parents." "Grandma what do you mean, why can't you tell me about Santa?" "It's...hard to explain Devin..just talk to them." Grandma didn't want to say the wrong thing, she didn't want to get in the middle of the Santa Claus controversy. My mouth hung open. I couldn't think. Why was Grandma holding out. My parents were at the store so I couldn't go and ask them immediately, Grandma wasn't talking and my Anti-Santa cousin was still out playing in the backyard. Grandma got up, patted me on the head and went back to cooking. I walked into the living room and sat down. This was all messed up. This didn't make sense...unless Gavin was right and there was no Santa Claus. Well what did that mean? Where did the presents come from? What the hell was going on? Soon my parents came back from the store (this was when they were still married), and as I was walking out of the living room, I heard Grandma whispering to them. I knew it was about Santa. My Dad asked me to go back into the living room and he told me. "No Devin, Santa is actually your mother and I. We buy the presents for you and your sister and put them under the tree on Christmas Eve." Man...what a mind fuck that was. So I'm trying to grasp the seriousness of what he's saying. It's like I've crossed some small line moving that much closer to adulthood. "OK," I said, "so even without Santa we're still getting presents on Christmas." My Dad nodded. I got up and ran outside to go play with my cousin, feeling stronger, like I had just been let in on some horrible top-secret, that only older kids knew about. In a way I had been. So...when we get home, I take my son into my recording studio and sit him down. "About Santa Claus." Yes he says eagerly." "There is no Santa Claus like in the stories, Santa is actually your Mom and I." He looked a little puzzled and said"So you get us the presents?" "Yea," I said . "Well I kinda thought that might be true, 'cause you know deer can't really fly, and that Santa at the shopping mall last year...well his beard was all funny looking and wasn't stuck to his face." "Yea, I know, he was a pretty lame Santa." My son laughed and I told him not to tell his sister. He promised and that was that. Much easier than the way I found out, or maybe kinda the same, he just handled it better..

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