Santa Visit

Sepia tone head shot of Santa.

He knows if you've been bad or good...Portrait by Vanessa Pike-Russell via flickr

The child is almost eight and still pretty firmly believes in Santa. She is asking lots of questions, but that is just her mode of conversation, not any sort of investigative process. Having a child with developmental delays sort of skews your sense of what happens when. I’ve written about this before. I have no idea whether she should be figuring this out or not. I know some of her peers have because I was in her class on a day when her teacher read a book with Santa in it, and one of the little boys almost blurted out…until half the class shushed him. I’m just fine letting her hold on to this sweet piece of childhood a little longer. There are some parts of growing up that are over-rated.

Anyway, everything is so hectic this year (well going on four years actually) that I almost hoped we could skip the Santa visit this year. It’s not big on my Christmas list of things to do, actually. Usually some friend invites us to a Santa event sponsored by their employer or business and we go to that. We didn’t get any invitations this year, so I figured we could just not mention it and move along. Not so fast there. The child insisted that we needed to go – all of us – to see Santa and make sure he knew which presents to bring.

So we went to see Santa this morning. Daddy even took time out of his busy end of the fiscal year madness. We stood in line for quite a while, but not too long. Waiting is getting easier. We politely declined the “charge them an arm and a leg” photography session and settled for making memories. Each child shyly approached Santa and told him what they wanted. Little Sis wants a necklace (easy enough); Bubba wants a camera (probably a toy one like his sisters, but not yet…) The child had a list. She had written out a list for herself and her siblings with red colored pencil – just like in a book we read. She stood in front of Santa and read her list to him, with the paper in between her face and his. I’m not sure he heard all of it, but he did hear her ask for an iPhone. She decided back in October that she wants an iPhone. I don’t think she even knows what it is, but she wants one. When I told her that not even Mommy or Daddy has an iPhone she did not see this as a reason that she shouldn’t have one. Santa was on our side and told her that there is a minimum age requirement to have an iPhone, but he would see what he can do. Hmmm…

The best part was when she gave Santa her gift. Yes, she made a gift for Santa. A string of interlocking beads in a colorful pattern that she dubbed “tie-dye.” He accepted it graciously and sent us off with smiles all around.

Remind me again why I wanted to skip this?

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