Christmas is on my mind.
This is the my first Christmas as a mother of a child who can begin to understand the story of Baby Jesus and the joy of giving thoughtful gifts to our loved ones. I've been mulling over Christmas traditions to teach Henry the true meaning of Christmas from an early age, in hopes he will always know that the holiday season is a special time to celebrate with family and not a time for uber-commercialism and cheap plastic gifts to unwrap.
My sister and I were firm believers in Santa. Santa brought unwrapped presents we found on Christmas morning and our parents gave presents we unwrapped on Christmas Eve. For years, my reasoning behind Santa was that in 1st grade he brought me a pink scooter and my parents would never buy such an expensive gift.
This afternoon, I asked Taylor if he believed in Santa as a child. I was a bit surprised to hear that 'yes' he did believe because it seems like with two older brothers in the house, the cat would have been out of the bag. I was even more surprised to find out why he believed: His great-grandmother, MawMaw, told him that Santa was real. How did she know? She was up late one Christmas eve and stumbled upon Santa in her house. He told her she wasn't supposed to see him so he pulled a syringe out of his bag and gave her a shot that made her instantly fall asleep until Christmas morning.
You read it right:
Santa drugged MawMaw.
So, I believed in Santa and Taylor believed in Santa. But, what about our kids? Do we want them to view Santa as a magical bearer of gifts or do we want to teach that Santa is a fun Christmas character but that he does not actually supply gifts to the children of the world? I must admit it bothers me that American children believe that presents fall from the sky and no one even thinks to write a thank-you letter to Mr. Claus. It just doesn't seem right to me.
As Taylor and I were having this conversation and debating various facets of Santa, Henry was busy finding "dwarf chocolate" as we explored a rock pile in the cemetery next to our house. Dwarf chocolate is also known as a brown rock that has been broken to expose a white interior. Ridiculous, right? But, Henry believed it was dwarf chocolate because we told him so.
Then, it hit me:
This kid believes everything we say,
no matter how ridiculous it may seem.
A fat man in a red suit with flying reindoor?
A dwarf who lives in a cemetary and eats rocks like chocolate.
He believes it all -
What does this mean to me as a parent?
We watch our mouths and our attitudes.
We try to model love and respect.
We constantly teach him right from wrong.
We don't watch television.
We are working on looking for cars before we cross a street.
We are certainly trying our hardest to be the best parents we can be.
But, I feel like there must be more to do to ensure these babies become
responsible and caring citizens of the world.
Ideally, I would wrap this post up with a nice little bow.
But, that's not life and it's not happening with this post tonight.
I'm realizing more so everyday that it's hard being mama.
It's a big responsibility being entrusted with these little clean slates.