All I know is that in the five or ten minutes I was revising a poem this morning, my children snuck down the basement and found some of their gifts from Santa.
My daughter, realizing elves weren't busy making her Littlest Pet Shop critters at the North Pole, began to weep; she wept and wanted to be held for a long time.
No biggie, right? Just tell her some gifts are from your mom and dad, and we hide those, and some come from Santa. After all, Santa is a busy man, and there are lots of kids. Especially in these tough economic times, Santa can't give each kid more than two or three gifts.
But no, no, no, because these presents she'd found were items she'd asked SANTA to get her.
So I spent the day feeling sick in my heart, having robbed my 5-year old of the magic of the season, having taken away her blissful morning of surprise and awe, unless I go out and buy more gifts for her, just to prove there is a Santa, while her brother of 10 years keeps whispering in her ear that there's no Santa cuz have you ever heard him on the roof? How come?
I'm pained and spent. I don't want it to matter, and yet it matters so much.
I know that kids are resilient and I am resilient, and that Santa will work his magic, but I feel so emotionally spent right now. I just wish I could rewind the tape, get a do-over.
I am not a wallower, though, and that is why there's a batch of ginger cookie dough chilling in the fridge. Which reminds me of a gorgeously wonderful This I Believe essay I played for my students on Friday, our last class: Baking By Senses and Memories, by Emily Smith.
Sigh. I can't sort out how much of my sadness is truly about The There's No Santa Episode and my favorite English class of all time coming to a close, or the horrible neck pain I've been experiencing, or a bunch of other personal and difficult stuff going on right now. It's like a bunch of rivers dumping into one ocean . . . which water is from which?