Mary Claire with a Bouquet of Flowers

Yesterday, Mary Claire came flying through the door after school with great concern and consternation.

“Mom!” she yelled, orange backpack laden with hundreds of keychains flung violently to the floor. “Half of my class doesn’t believe in Santa Claus!! Can you believe that?”

“Wow,” I replied. “Half the class, huh? What did those kids say?”

“They said there is no Santa Claus — that your parents leave all the presents.”

“Interesting. What do you think about that?”

“Well, I think they’re crazy,” she said in her eye-rolling, hair-flipping, “duh” kind of way. “And I told them so.”

She paused for a minute.

“You believe in Santa Claus, don’t you?” she asked, blue eyes wide with anticipation. For just a moment, I sensed a slight chink in her determination armor. That kind that makes you take pause and consider, Oh shit! What if they’re right and I’m wrong?

“I believe there is a lot of magic at Christmastime,” I explained. “And Santa Claus is part of that holiday wonder and excitement.”

“Right,” she said, already only half-listening, fully satisfied with my response and her original stance, and eager to continue her mile-a-minute banter.

“I told my friends, ‘There has to be a Santa Claus because we were in Disney last year, and HE STILL CAME TO OUR HOUSE! How do you explain that?!'” And then she did that obnoxious, pre-teen head bobbing move that indicates the victorious verbal slaying of her debating compadres.

“What did they say?”

“They said, ‘Your parents still did it.'”

Then she grinned with devilish delight. “And I said, ‘Whatever! (Insert aforementioned head bobbing move here.) My parents were WITH ME!'” And with that striking blow, she tossed her tangled locks, turned on her heel, and ventured to the pantry for her after-school snack.

I love that sassafras girl.

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