As with so many things in life, marriage has certain protocols—most of which involve toilet seats and child rearing. That said, my husband and I abide by an unspoken rule with respect to fielding the torrent of thorny questions our nine-year-old charges generate on a daily basis. In the name of fairness and nuptial accord, we share the responsibility and make a concerted effort to take turns, but by and large, proximity usually dictates who answers that-which-is-decidedly-unanswerable.
So when the mother-of-all-unanswerables fell from the sky last week and landed smack in my husband’s lap, I was fairly euphoric.
Apparently, the dreaded “Existence of Santa Claus” topic surfaced—as one might expect at this juncture in our parenting journey. As kid topics go, it certainly qualified as a Behemoth—and an unwieldy one at that. So by my calculations, the next 40 GAZILLION gnarly questions will automatically revert to me, which, in the grand scheme of things, is an equitable arrangement, I suppose. Rest assured, for a very long time to come the aforementioned man will conveniently remind me of the impressive nature and quality of his response to a question that was clearly off the difficulty scale.
Needless to say, I find our progenies’ collective curiosity to be slightly maddening, surpassed only by their penchant for the verdant path of danger as it relates to scooters and whatnot. To be sure, I am grateful to have been unavailable when Thing One and Thing Two broached the Santa subject. Otherwise, I would have had to tell them the irrefutable truth—that he is, indeed, very real and very much alive in the hearts and minds of those who believe.
My patented “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” spiel would have required a great investment of time and energy on my part, since I would likely feel compelled to cite a host of testimonials gathered from individuals near and far (to include Francis P. Church, author of the storied editorial, “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus,” first published in the New York Sun in 1897, the panel of experts slated to discuss the matter on the TODAY Show on December 22nd, Ryan Gosling’s mother, as recently quoted in People Magazine, a slew of friends and neighbors who can and will produce eyewitness accounts of Santa sightings on demand, and so on).
What’s more, I’d summon from my childhood vivid recollections of sleigh bells in the dead of night and hoof prints upon snow-covered lawns and rooftops come morning—not to mention what I believed to be reindeer droppings and the distinctive remnants of gnawed-upon carrots there in the new fallen snow. Could there BE a more valid explanation for these remarkable findings? I think not. Furthermore, the treats we leave Santa are ALWAYS gone by Christmas morning and, invariably, we discover a curious note upon which the great giver-of-gifts scrawls a message—one that reminds us all to be kind and caring of one another and, of course, grateful for every bit of goodness that will befall us throughout the coming year. Who else would deliver such sage advice, sprinkled abundantly with errant cookie crumbs? For a sleigh full of reasons, I can think of no one except the bearded guy in the snappy, red suit.
Moreover, according to CNN.com the government’s air defense system tracks Santa’s progress on Christmas Eve and the United States Postal Service accepts great multitudes of letters addressed to the North Pole, some of which I, personally, have helped craft. By all accounts, the preponderance of evidence in support of Saint Nick’s existence flies in the face of naysayers everywhere.
So yes, my dears, Santa is real—as surely as the spirit of Christmas lives and breathes in each of you, just as your father explained it so very well. Faith isn’t driven by what we can see with our eyes, but by what we hold in our hearts.
Planet Mom: It’s where I live (and believe—even still).
Copyright 2010 Melinda L. Wentzel