Yesterday, when I picked Jackson up from school, he asked me why Santa hadn’t sent him a message “on the computer” yet.
Two years ago, Jackson’s preK teacher introduced us to the Portable North Pole. It’s a website that allows you to create video messages from Santa. It’s all personalized with photos, his name, age and what he wants for Christmas. It’s been a big hit around here.
Um…there’s no message from Santa because you haven’t written him a letter yet! Of course, that’s why! Well then, he was writing a letter.
Its your pretty standard stuff. He thinks he’s been “god” enough to get a particular Lego set he wants. He addressed it to the North Pole.
But then things got a bit tricky. He wanted to mail it himself. Now there is no way I letting this go to the dead letter office at the US Postal Service. This is going in my “keep forever” box. So I started scheming.
My first plan was to take the letter to the neighborhood post office, and be sure we walked inside. James is the postmaster there. He’s the greatest guy. Everyone loves him. Mostly because he flirts with anything female, but in a totally non-creepy way. And I’m not gonna lie, I like that. But he’s also a father, and I knew he would help me out. I was just going to do some super-secret spy move like wave my hands behind my kid and tell him to hold on to the letter, so I could come back and get it. But since I’m not even close to stealth, I was worried I might not be able to pull it off.
Fortunately, fate and well-timed meltdown intervened. The kid freaked out about a whole other thing, so we ran out of time to go to the post office before closing. This was better, because I’m much better at lying when I don’t have to recruit other people into my tall tales on the fly.
Even though the mail had already run, which Jackson knew because he brought it in, I told him we could put the letter in the mailbox and postman would pick it up and send it to the North Pole. Obviously, we have failed to properly explain how the post office works, or the boy is just dim. Either way, we put the letter in the mailbox before bedtime. I made Charlie go fetch it last night before we went to bed. This morning it was gone. Magic! Now he waits for his return message from Santa that comes to the computer.
There is a third option that Charlie brought up just to break my heart: he might be playing me. I want so much for him to believe. He’s really good at reading people. I know there are kids in his class who don’t. It’s entirely possible he’s pretending just for my benefit.
You know what? I don’t care. For one more year, he gets to be little. He gets to believe, even if just for pretend, in magic. Because the thing is, once that’s gone, it never really comes back. You can never unknow some things. No matter how much you want to.