Keeping the Magicby Ila Campbell
I have the distinct feeling this is the last Christmas my daughter is going to believe in Santa Claus. It has nothing to do with her age (which is 6-1/2) and everything to do with how she reacted to Christmas morning this year.
She was the first one up, and instead of shouting and squealing and begging us to get up, she quietly tiptoed over to the tree and…
…organized the gifts so that her presents were on the right side of the tree, her brother’s on the left and the shared gifts in the middle.
This doesn’t sound so grave, but is an indication of the mindset that will bring down Santa. During her inspection, she noted the wrapping paper was divided into two types and asked me which was which.
“The red’s from Mom and Dad, and the snowmen are from Santa,” I answered.
“I’ve seen the snowmen before, haven’t I?” she replied.
Rats. “Probably. Santa used it last year, too.”
“Why would Santa use the same one for two years?”
Ummmm. “To keep it simple. That way you know which ones are from him.”
About two minutes later: “You saw Santa last night, right?”
I sensed another trap. “Why do you ask?”
“You had to see him, because you wrote our names on his presents.”
“Are you sure Santa didn’t write them?”
“They look the same as the ones from you and Daddy.”
“Right. Well, I must have seen Santa last night then.”
“I knew that. This present’s a video. These are books. And I can tell by this shape it’s Polly Pockets. Can we open them now?”
And so I believe this will be the last mystical, magical Christmas for Detective Daughter, which will be a shame. My son, I think, will last longer than six years – he lacks the analytical nature and deep-seeded need to know absolutely everything about everything.
But even though there’s a feeling of loss at having her outgrow this time of wonderment, I’m so doggone proud of how smart this girl is getting, it’s almost like a whole ‘nother gift.
I hope if she does lose the magic, she can find it again. Maybe someday she’ll become a writer like her mom, and learn to recapture that magic again on the page
I hope everyone had a joyful Christmas and that your magic lives on next year.