Sometimes adults forget a child’s reality is a magical place, a fragile place. It can easily be taken away by grownups who have forgotten how to believe. But every so often, a grownup is privileged to get a quick peek into that world.
One freezing February, my fellow teachers and I bundled up the preschoolers from our daycare and escorted them to a local bakery. Christmas was but a winter memory, so it wasn’t visions of sugarplums dancing in small heads. Instead, dreams of the promised cupcake treats filled their thoughts as we navigated through the front door. Our stomachs growled as the enticing smell of cinnamon and sugar tickled our noses.
“It’s Santa Claus!”
Puzzled, I glanced around. The kids ignored displays of pastry delights, including the promised cupcakes, and rushed to crowd around a small table.
Then I spotted him, a white haired, long-bearded gentleman smiling at the wide-eyed children.
“Where are your reindeer, Santa?”
“I left them at home.”
“Where’s your red suit, Santa?”
“It’s after Christmas so I don’t wear it.”
The old gentleman pushed his coffee aside. He leaned down, elbows on his knees in order to be face to face with even the smallest tot.
“Will you bring us toys again, Santa?”
“Will you say, ‘ho, ho, ho, Santa?’”
“If you’ll say it with me.”
“Ho, ho, ho’s,” filled the scented air, Santa’s being the loudest and the merriest.
This jolly man not only entered the fragile, magical reality of a child’s imagination, but he left it safely intact.
That day, Santa became my hero.
Susan York Meyers is the author of two chapter books, Callie and the Stepmother and The Princess and the Pee, and one picture book, Grrr…Night. She lives with her hubby and Kira, the dog that thinks she’s people. Stop by and visit Susan at Susan’s Thoughts and Ramblings. (http://susanameyers.blogspot.