Having a five year old son, Christmas is a BIG DEAL. In the past week we have witnessed the ceremonial turning-on-of-the-town-Christmas-lights (performed by Santa, the Rabbitohs, and the Mayor), we have tried to get close to Santa and some real reindeer, only to be caught up in a marauding mob (same night as the lights event) and we have gone to the local shopping centre in the hope of getting a personal audience with Santa, including the obligatory rip-off photo.
Thankfully the personal audience was granted on Saturday. For Dash and his cousin of the same age it was a rather momentous event. I think Dash felt that if he didn’t get a message to Santa somehow, he would not get what he wanted for Christmas. His cousin refuses to tell anyone what she requested from Santa, we think she’s trying to test the theory of ‘Santa’ once and for all.
And that testing of the ‘Santa’ theory has been the hardest part for us adults. I suspect this may be the last year Dash actually believes in Santa and I was determined to milk it for all it was worth. Dash though is a stickler for FACTS. His cousin never likes to feel like one has been put over her. She will be doing the putting-over thank you very much. Hence, after seeing Santa and two REAL LIVE reindeer we had to deal with:
Child 1: Why were there only two reindeers? Two reindeers couldn’t pull a sleigh.
Child 2: Yes, how do they get it up in the sky?
Adult: Well, there’s more reindeer, he just brought two tonight.
Child 1: Why didn’t he bring more?
Adult: Well one just had a baby so the mother was home resting for Christmas with her baby (this was actually true. Well, the baby bit).
Child 1 : But Santa’s supposed to have SIX WHITE BOOMERS in Australia! Why did he have reindeers?
Child 2: What? Boomers? What?
Child 1: That song. Santa has white boomers because the reindeers just can’t stand the heat.
Adult: I think he uses both.
Child 2: Well, that would be expensive. How much do you think that would cost? To buy reindeers AND white boomers?
Adult: I don’t know. Why don’t you ask him when you see him next?
Child 2: I’M not going to ask him about his BUSINESS! That’s rude! You can’t ask someone about their business.
Adult: Well, you asked me! I don’t know how much it would cost!
And on and on.
We’re digging a very deep hole and it’s getting harder and harder to use the ‘it’s just magic’ excuse.
They’re suspicious but they don’t want to be proven wrong.
I guess we’re all like that in our own way.
“In Brueghel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
Bur for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.”
That’s Auden. The picture is by my Mum.
Thanks to a wonderful high school English teacher, as soon as I saw that photo those words came into my head.