Becoming an active participant in the Claus conspiracy
Even a scheming, deceiving mommy deserves that much. Doesn't she?
My approach always has been laissez faire lies, a sort of stare decisis on Claus: Let the myth stand. I don't pile on, but neither do I rebut certain convenient mistruths. The guys will figure it out in their own time, and when they do and confront me, I'll come clean.
But now I'm legally culpable as a dealer. I was the one who bought the boxed set of classic Christmas cartoons two years ago. It's just taken us now to get past "Rudolph" and "Frosty the Snowman."
Finally, though, I convinced the guys late last week to watch "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." It's always been one of my favorites, with "The Year Without a Santa Claus" running a close second due to stellar performances by Heat Miser and Snow Miser.
"Put One Foot in Front of the Other"? Who hasn't quoted Kris Kringle's advise to Winter Warlock -- "Call me Winter, please" -- at times even in the heat of summer.
Granted, the song didn't impress Big Guy much but he's not easily impressed with anything Santa these days.
He's progressed rapidly from picking apart the Santa at his school to openly dismissing the Jolly Old Elf as a fraud. "Santa's a fake. I know he is."
On the other hand, a big chunk of him still believes. There is, after all, an incentive for him to do so. No Claus equals no presents? I certainly didn't start that perjury, but I've definitely suborned it so add that count to my indictment.
And "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" pushed him back toward believing, once he got past the now-awkward stop action animation of the era. "It's like a puppet show," I said. "A puppet show of how things actually happened." I think that was my first out-right lie about Claus so pile on the obstruction of justice charge, too.
Detail by detail, the cartoon neatly explains all the impossible things about Santa, from why he goes down chimneys to why presents are in stockings. The real a-HA moment for Big Guy came when Winter handed the future Mrs. Claus a handful of magical feed corn in a desperate attempt to get out of jail.
"So that's how the reindeer fly!" Big Guy exclaimed gleefully, because it's been bugging him that Rudolph, et al, need FAA clearance while the deer at his grandmother's remain grounded.
"That must be it," I replied evasively.
Part of me enjoyed, in a downright misty-eyed way, his restored belief. It's the same part of me who gets a kick daily out of the magic and discovery of childhood, knowing full well that losing naive belief is a necessary part of growth.
For today, at least, he's back to being my little boy again. We'll see what happens later this week, when Santa is scheduled to appear at a neighborhood park.
I'm sure the feds will have the place wired to see how many lying parents they can catch deceiving their kids.
Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.