The Parent Trip
By Shelby Cain
On the ride home from school yesterday Four piped up from the backseat. “Mom, some kids were arguing at school today.” “Oh? What about?” “About Santa. Jack said he wasn’t magical. Nora said he was magical. Is he magical Mom?” Anther one of those super tough questions kids ask that leave you in a moral dilemma. I went with the classic deflection. “Well honey, what do you think?” She thought about this for about a block and a half, which is the equivalent to very deep thought in kid time. “I think he’s both.” Whew. Ok. Very diplomatic. And we will get through another Christmas with the sometimes-magical Santa Claus in tact. It’s funny, but I couldn’t agree with her more. As a kid, if you believe Santa is real, then how cool is it that this big chubby dude in a red suit reads your letter, gets you a gift, and then flies to your house with reindeer and drops it off for you in the middle of the night. Magical. If you don’t believe, then he just looks like Rob Ford in a red suit and a fake beard. Not magical. As a parent, Santa is definitely magical. He is the ultimate law enforcement officer. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad, or good. It’s awesome! So for at least six weeks before Christmas we play the Santa card relentlessly. “Four, do you think Santa would like to see you jumping on your sisters head?” “Two, Santa knows if you actually put that toothbrush in the potty or not, so you better tell Mommy the truth.” And on, and on. And I gotta tell you, it works like a charm. My friend just bought something that takes the Santa blackmail to another level. It’s a little elf doll that sits on shelves and counters in your house, and you’re supposed to move it around every night to a new place so the kids can find it. But the REAL purpose of this heavenly little creature is to show the kids that Santa actually has foot soldiers on the ground that are watching them. Constantly. It should be called Santa’s Narc. Brilliant. Did our forefathers actually invent Santa for this purpose? Maybe it’s just a lucky side effect. And yes, I realize my girls may be a little disappointed when they find out Santa isn’t real. But I plan to ride this bull until it bucks me off. Four and Two got up this morning and went downstairs to clean up the destroyed toy-room before Santa saw it. I thought to myself, is Santa magical? Hell yes.