Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The things your kid will learn on the bus : Santa

Is Santa really real? Is Santa you? I can't believe I am already facing these questions. Adam is starting to ask if Santa is real. I truly believe that this sort of thing should last for as long as possible mostly because the wonder create by these mythological characters makes holidays a little more fun. I think that it is sad that he is already asking me as he is only a second grader. He has told me that kids on the bus say that Santa is really your parents. Damn these kids! I mean, why can't they keep that shit to themselves?

Don't get me wrong, Susie and I don't really give Santa all that much credit in the long run. He fills their stockings with things that they need like underwear and toothbrushes but we don't hide some ridiculous gift and pop it out at the end like it is something more special than all the others. The jolly old elf sometimes seems to get too much attention while the parents really are the ones that are busting their asses really providing for them the whole year through. We don't let that bowl full of jelly cash in on our happiness. It's much more fun for us to see their faces light up from a present you got them without Santa getting all the props for "knowing" EXACTLY what they wanted.

Let's face it, going to see Santa is a milestone. Most kids are terrified of this prospect. I have seen my own kids cry hysterically like I was taking them to go sit on Satan's lap. I gave up trying to make that photo happen. You are better off sidling next to Santa while holding them. Sitting on Santa's lap is kind of like the litmus test for the fortitude of your kid;will they tolerate it or bawl uncontrollably like you just set them down on a bed of nails? The only way you can prepare them for this is by finding a complete stranger with a straggly beard and ask them if you can put your kid on his lap for a few minutes periodically throughout the year. That way when December comes around they think that this is totally normal behavior. Sounds gross right? I understand why you are crying babies and I feel for you.

When it comes to Santa, I usually tell my kids that people can believe what they want but that I believe in Santa because I want to. The biggest lesson I have tried to impart on my kids at a young age is to be yourself and not worry about what people think of you. Stupid peer pressure. The first time I ever came up against this sort of thing I used The Polar Express to illustrate my point. For awhile this worked. I want to be able to still hear the bell. Clearly, these other parents have given up or the kids with older siblings just lose out because they don't want to be teased that they believe in something like Santa.

I understand the perception, that to an older kid believing in Santa makes you a baby and no one wants to be a baby especially when you are a 4th grader and you are headed to middle school next year. When my kids decide to stop believing I am going to make sure that they don't ruin it for the younger ones. Holding on to the magic is healthy for their imagination. Too much of what kids today are exposed to today is the harshness of reality. I am just bummed that eventually that magic is going to be gone with my kids. When that is gone it is really an indication of them growing up and who wants that? I am gunning for you bus kids, keep your ideas about Santa to yourself.

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