For the most part, I'm not good with magic. I am, and have always been, a highly skeptical person. If something seems even a little unrealistic, I'm the one that's going to question it and try to figure out what's really going on.
This trait is very useful when I receive emails from Africa asking me to send money for some crazy scheme. It's not so useful when dealing with little kids who want to believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy. In fact, skeptical mommy equals magical buzz kill who RUINS CHRISTMAS!
I've been working on letting Michael have a little magic this year, and it seems to be working.
In past years, we have not had any luck with Santa visits. We managed to pull it off once when he was very little, but there were so many tears involved, that I'm not sure it was worth it. Last year, Michael considered it, but backed off before even getting into line.
Despite the failures, every year we ask Michael if he wants to sit on Santa's lap. When we asked this year, his response was, "The Santa in the mall is just a man in a costume". Yikes! My little skeptic is already debunking Santa?
While part of me was proud that he figured it out, I really didn't want to give up on the fantasy yet. So I asked him how he knew that. "Santa is way too busy to be at the mall." Phew. That was close.
We went to the mall on Friday evening and came upon a very good "Natural" Santa who also happened to have a very short line. So, we asked Michael if he wanted to give it a go. In typical Michael fashion, he needed to sit down and think about it for five minutes. Then, he asked us detailed questions about what he would do once he was sitting on Santa's lap. We explained the process and he considered it a little more and finally he decided to give it a try.
He was positively glowing when he was done. He was so excited that he got to sit on Santa's lap and talk to him. Seeing how happy he was, I'm glad that I hadn't confirm his suspicion that it was just a man in a costume. For that moment, I think Michael really beleived in the magic. It was sweet, and innocent, and I think I even noticed a few sprinkles of fairy dust floating around him. I know it was fairy dust because, when I saw his smile, I felt a little of the magic as well.
As we walked off with a final wave to Santa, we asked Michael about how it went. Did he have fun? What did he tell Santa he wanted? Did Santa ask if he's been naughty or nice?
Michael informed us, "No, he didn't ask."
"Don't worry. He knows. He always knows."