Things are feeling very good on the home front right now. So good that I'm going to risk jinxing it all by writing some of it down.
Last weekend, the Winemaker had to work (wine tasting being a big Thanksgiving weekend tradition around here), and I made plans to meet a family of friends at a tree farm. None of us wanted to get a tree yet, but they were advertising free train rides and petting farm animals and a gift shop that raises money for widows in the Ukraine, so we figured it would be fun and festive.
As we pulled up, the kids suddenly started hollering. "Santa! It's Santa! Santa's here! Can we go see him?!?"
Last year we kept meaning to take them to meet Santa, but it got to a point where it was going to be stressful to cram it in, so we just let it go. We did talk a bit about how Santa sends friends to talk to kids in some places, and in other places, he himself shows up. I don't know, it just sounded like a good ass-covering story to establish ahead of time, in case they got skeptical about a particular Santa they met. We were going to take them to meet Santa this year, and suddenly, here he was.
I felt bad that their dad wasn't there--and that they weren't dressed in anything photogenic--but there was no way I could deny them the right to go see Santa when he was RIGHT THERE, MOM. So I said yes, once we found our friends and said hi, we could go see Santa.
"Is he real?" they both demanded of me. "Is he the real Santa?" I told them I didn't know, because I hadn't even realized he would be here, but that he sure looked real to me.
"I know!" exclaimed Oak. "I'll pull on his beard and see if it comes off!"
Oh dear. Santa had a glossy, shiny, FALSE BEARD on. I pointed out that this would be rude, and not appreciated by Santa, but Linden gleefully chimed in. "Yeah! We can pull on his beard and see if he says 'ouch'." I hoped they would forget their plan after taking the time to find our friends and their five kids, or at least get shy in the actual moment.
Once we were ready, we approached Santa. He was sitting in a sleigh, and both kids slid in next to him. Linden immediately asked him, "Do you work at the North Pole?"
"I live at the North Pole," he replied.
Both kids whirled around to look at me. "Mom! It's really him! He's real!" they stage whispered to me.
No beard pulling. I heaved a sigh of relief, took pictures, and tried not to cry. The kids thought it was fun, but I thought my heart might just explode with joy, seeing their excitement. They've lost a lot of childhood. I'm glad they have at least two years of belief in magic.