Tuesday, December 2, 2008

the gap ad you've been waiting for

So I've had a little trouble capturing the gap.  Here's Jake getting a hair cut last night.  He sat perfectly still, but do you really think I feel like grinning now, Mom?

Then I tried again tonight.  Say cheese, Jake!  Mom, are you kidding me with this?

But anyway, we got it eventually.  

So we're watching the ol' claymation Santa movie as I write this.  I get a little edgy about Santa every year.  I love it, and we do it, but I struggle with the fear that my kids will eventually think of it simply as a big lie we told them throughout their childhood.  I'm well aware that most kids just sort of grow up out of it, play along for several years, and never get all that traumatized by it.  But we're talking about my children here.  I've told you about Drew, right?  The dramatic one with all the sensitivity and crazy clever questions and, again, drama.  There's no way that dude's easing out of the Santa phase without some sort of a scene.

But here's my hope - that at some point in their youth, even if they realize the absurdity of some of the details they may have been believing, they will also realize that if Christmas promises anything, it promises magic.  I'm not being all ethereal and poetic here.  I just mean the whispering of secrets, the fact that at least someone during this season will surprise you.  They'll have a gift more perfect than you had imagined or be someone you didn't even know was thinking of you.  You're sure to feel a rush of joy every time you drop a coin in the salvation army bucket or give a coat to the coat drive.  There might be carolers outside your door.  Seriously, a crowd of people standing in your lawn serenading you.  Any season that encourages that is seriously magic.  

There was a group of them at HyVee tonight.  That's what put me in this magic frame of mind.  If you read the blog very much, you may know that I have a completely irrational abhorrance for grocery shopping.  Bumping into the sound of carolers at the West end of every aisle really brightened the entire experience though.  That and having all three rambunctious boys with me.  You just can't take yourself too seriously with three boys bouncing around you wheeling their kid size carts like they're in a go-kart race.

So that's what I hope.  That the belief in Santa will turn into a belief in the magic and the thrill of giving it as much as receiving.  My favorite part of the Christmas story is how common it is - a poor man, a plain girl, a manger, regular old shepherds, animals.  But then there were angels.  Actual angels, visible and audible and filling the sky and telling the shepherds to go join the tableau that now sits on our mantles every year.  You know what that was?  It was magic.  And I look for it every year.


Caroline said...

Yup- Just like you say, the little surprises that you never expect are the ones that get you- like Jake taking his chickens with him to the dentists office. Big happy smile.


Molly said...

Tableau? Good word!

I liked the rest of the post too. :-)

Andrea said...

So, teach your boys about the "real" Santa Clause, St. Nicholas. He is the real reason we have a Santa Clause in the first place. His role in Christmas is exactly that of Santa, he came in Stelth mode, left gifts in the childrens shoes which they placed by the fire place. Surprise! in the morning, all just like now. Only reality, that you won't have to shock them out of when they get older. Thats what we told our kids, that way the "reality" of Santa Clause is actually a reality. Love the grin...........on both of you :)

Andrea said...

Serenity, I wouldn't have posted this here, but have no other contact. I wanted to send this link to you, because it deals EXACTLY with the Santa Clause issue. Being on the "other side" of parenting small children, I was able to laugh out loud at this gals story, and thought of you immediatly. I hope you enjoy it too. http://heartkeepercommonroom.blogspot.com/

Kelly H-Y said...

LOVE the word 'tableau' you weaved in so beautifully! You're thinking what I'm thinking ... you're going to laugh when you see today's post on The Twelve Books of Christmas in our House!
LOVE the new pictures ... especially the toothless grin!