Saturday, December 4, 2010

The power of Santa compels you...

~"Raising kids is part joy and part guerrilla warfare"~ 
Ed Asner

 I seem to have lost my moxie in the past week. I just don't feel like doing anything. This isn't a bad thing per say...perhaps a bit frustrating as I do want to get some things done.  I just don't seem to have the energy to do them.  My get up and go seems to have got up and went.  Nothings wrong. I'm healthy, happy..everything here is pretty good. Maybe it is just the change of seasons..or too much Thanksgiving turkey. Either way..I'd like to get it back..Christmas is coming-and with four kids, I need all the help I can get.

  The holiday season is an interesting time at our house. The kids being kids work themselves up into a frenzy of excitement starting at Halloween. It is kind of like a horse race..the bell rings and we are off-usually with me in the lead.. This year though, I feel like I am still at the gate. I think in part this has to do with all the changes going on.  My herd is growing up.. and I feel like I'm staying still. Yes, I know this is what they are supposed to do..and for the most part I find joy in it-I do..but at the same time, I don't like it..not a bit. sigh...I guess I'm feeling a little left out.

  This is the first year that Sammy knows...really KNOWS that there isn't a Santa. He has suspected for quite some time..but he wasn't ready to accept it.  Until now. Which has led to some interesting conversations. " SAID there was a Santa."  "I know I did..but Santa is just one of those things parents do to make the holidays more fun."  "But YOU SAID there was one." "Well...there is kind of..think about it..what IS Santa? What does he represent? He's fun and magical!!  All parents want to be fun and magical Sam!!..Besides, one person couldn't possibly deliver toys and gifts to EVERY house."  "But YOU SAID HE WAS REAL."  "Well...I think he's real in a way..he is the reason for Christmas!" "But YOU SAID people celebrate Christmas because of Jesus." "No..I said many people..not all people...Christmas is a time of joy and fun..and can you understand  why we have least a little?" "But YOU SAID...."   "ALRIGHT! YES I said there was a Santa! I am Santa! Thats night a year I turn into a fat man with a beard and deliver toys all around the world..that's why I'm so tired on Christmas!..the secret is out!! Now you know!! HO HO HO!!" ..."MAMA..sigh..well, what about Jesus?".at that time Lily chimed in with "Jesus?  who is Jesus?" "You know, Christmas is his birthday? have to go to church if you want to learn more about him.."Oh..well I always wanted to try sushi" "Uhh..Lil? They don't serve sushi in church...?"  "Oh..o.k."....sigh...I know-lots of people are honest with their kids from the start. They didn't want to raise them with the idea of a magical guy sneaking into their homes one night a year delivering presents. I get that-I do...and I respect their decision. But I like the idea of Santa..the magic, the mystery...the power. Yes!  The power.  Between Thanksgiving and Christmas day, I can't think of a better threat than "If you don't stop drawing on the dog-I will call Santa." or "Girls! Get out of the washer!Santa is watching you." Oh I can hear the skeptics now "You can't expect to raise your child to be a critical thinker..or to trust you if you raise them on on myths..Don't you want them to behave themselves simply because it is the right thing to do?"  Oh blah blah blah.. Talk to me when you are removing fifteen boxes worth of band-aids stuck to every possible surface of your house...or when your kids think that sliding down the staircase in a sleeping bag is good fun even if it does tear the banister down.  Don't get me wrong, my kids are pretty well behaved for most of the year. It is the holiday season that turns them into hyperactive monkeys(with wings). Maybe I am just partial to fat, bearded men in red suits-or worse..maybe I simply relate to them...either way-Santa is a vital part of our holiday season..(and my sanity)

  I don't think it's Sam's new found Santa realization that's getting to me though. I think it is more that they are all growing away that has me feeling so introspective. Parenting is topsy turvy sometimes isn't it?.  For years, I was the center of their universe..and some ways, I'm becoming more of an observer than a participant. Stepping back and letting them figure things out on their own...watching how they look to each other for answers.   A large part of me revels in this. There was a time..and still are times when I worry and fret about the future for my kids. I don't know what it holds for them..I don't know how far they will go. I have to remember though-to look at the here and now and to occasionally glance back to see how far forward we have come. From where I am standing right now, the future- although uncertain, looks pretty bright.

  Last week we were listening to Christmas carols as we were driving out and about.  Now, there is nothing like a rousing rendition of "Rudolph the red nosed reindeer" to get the blood pumping. Especially when it is sung by "Mitch Miller and the Gang"  .  My kids are fabulous in that they will sing with me-at the top of their lungs.(much to Omar's amused discomfort) ..So there we are singing along when Zoe starts kicking the back of Lily's seat. Lily in turn grabbed Zoe's foot and a screaming match ensued. "Girls!!" I yelled "Santa is watching!!" They immediately stopped.  Sam just looked at me (rather accusingly I must say)  Lily said "Sammy do you remember that Christmas eve we were looking out the window and we saw Rudolph's nose glow?" Sammy said "I remember..we were looking outside and we saw the reflection of his nose on the roof!!  And then we heard a banging sound.." Sammy glared looked at me..and Lily said "Mama?...that was Santa right?"..."uuuhhhh...ask me later..I can't hear you the musics too loud."


@jencull (jen) said...

We also have Santa in this house, though my 8 yo still believes I can see him being just like Sammy when the news breaks. I had to laugh too though (sorry). I think, as my toddlers grow, I will tell them that Santa brings ONE present and we buy the rest. That way I can still threaten *coughs* encourage them to behave in the lead up to Christmas :D Jen

Kim Wombles said...

:-) Hee, the threat still works even when the kids have always known you're Santa. Your moxie ran away for a vacation! It's with mine...somewhere Kentucky way!

Laura said...

We have Santa, but Coleman's always been a skeptic. Now, he goes along for Julia's sake, which is remarkably sweet of him, I think.

I also think it's just a wee bit cute that Sammy's upset about it.

Sorry about your moxie, if you and Kim find yours will you check about for mine? :-)

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Well all 3, including the 18 yr old, would claim to believe in Santa if I asked them: I always said that you need to believe in him if you want him to come to you :) My boy is like me and hates lies so am not sure how he is going to take finding out that Santa is not who he thinks it is x

Stephanie said...

I tried the no Santa rout, because I remember being in Sammy's shoes. I remember being offended that Santa wasn't real. And I'm still a little miffed--he should be real, no matter how improbable that is. I like magic, dang it!

But, my kids wanted to believe in Santa, so I let them. In a way, it was their choice.

If it helps, you can tell Sammy that while Santa is a myth that has grown out of its original proportions, Saint Nicholas was definitely real. My (non-autistic) step-son was satisfied with that explanation.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dear - Oh what a tangled web we weave...!! :) It took Cait until last year (at 18) to forgive me.
I loved the blog. Keep going. Love, Ei

Lori Lavender Luz said...

I fear that this is my last year of getting mileage out of the santa situation.

And I'm not afraid to milk it, lol.

Now I'm craving sushi...

BlogGems #9

Lynn said...

I think most kids still feel that they have to behave to get their gifts regardless of whether or not they believe that it's Santa that's delivering them.

My brother was the polar opposite of Sammy...he pretended to believe in Santa until he was like 12 because he thought he'd stop getting gifts!

Angela said...

okay so can I tell you a little story my big brother and I (we are only 13 months apart) figured out there was no santa at like 7 years old, but we knew our mom had so much fun with the holiday season that we never told her we didn't believe until we were like 12. We couldn't ruin her fun.

I haven't even started christmas shopping yet so I think you might be a head of me girly! Love ya

denise said...

Sleeping bags? No wonder they took the banister out! My sister and I always used flattened cardboard boxes for our staircase sledding-maybe you should keep some near the top of the stairs ;).

I don't know if either of the girls believe in Santa. Jan's the only one who could possibly articulate her thoughts about this, and she's so young at heart that I don't want to ask her any questions that might put a seed of doubt in her head. So I figure I'll just keep doing the whole, "Look what Santa brought!" routine probably forever.

Eliana said...

While wrapping Xmas gifts today I accidentally let it slip to my 11 year old niece that two guitars intended for my 4 year old twins were 'from Santa'. She looked at me in shock and said that he is supposed to deliver them on Xmas Eve. I saw her adding this to the Santa-is-a-myth file that she has gleaned from various childhood sources, yet without the ability to relinquish the belief entirely. She isn't ready yet. She has lost three fathers in 5 years, I sort of understand that.

I said to her that Santa could once give all the gifts in the world himself (thinking of old St Nick), but that the world had grown to 6 billion people, and now he needed the help of parents and adults to get the job done. Gift giving is such a magical thing that we all get to share the magic. I will leave it to my sister to take the final step and invite her to become a myth-creator, a magic-bearer too, an adult instead of a child. I found that old editorial about Santa, you might want to read. It is still charming, however many years on:

kathleen said...

Sorry sorry sorry-I am so delayed in getting back to everyones wonderful comments...
@Jen-That is a great idea..wish I had thought of it..sigh..
@Kim moxies back..from Arkansas..:)
@Laura-That is so sweet..I'm betting your moxies back..will go check your blog! :)
@Stephanie-I Like magic too!!I am letting him at the moment-good good suggestion..thanks :)
@Bluesky-You have very smart kids!..perhaps your boy will follow along with their thinking? fingers crossed. :)
@Eileen-Jo told me when I was choice but to have a "stiff upper lip" ;0
@Lynn-*sigh* we just got stuck in the lie of Santa..and it has how your brother thought though..
@Angela-You and your brother are fabulous kids!
@Denise-I HIDE all cardboard boxes!! The sleeping bag was just an error in judgement! ;0 I would do the same thing..:)
@Eliana-Thanks for the wonderful link..makes perfect sense for your niece-great explanation
@Lavender-I still don't know where she got the idea of sushi! I milk away too. :)