here about keeping the magic in Christmas.
I was one of those children who believed in Santa long past his expiration date for many of my classmates. I heard all of the talk, and I'm not sure if I just didn't listen to it, because I had a younger sister and I wanted to keep the magic alive for her, or if it was because I had a hard time letting go of Santa in the same way that I have a hard time letting go of a lot of things in my life.
I was 11, sitting in the bathroom at a playhouse in Republican City where I was in a stage production of Annie Get Your Gun. I was by far the youngest cast member, and spent a large chuck of time by myself because of this. I was on the verge of puberty, only having recently sprung boobie bumps. Two women walked into the restroom to do their makeup and obviously didn't notice my little shoes underneath the stalls. They proceeded to talk about how old THEY were when they found out that Santa, and the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth fairy weren't real. I was crushed.
I hid this knowledge from my parents for as long as I possibly could, unwilling to part with the gifts such naivete afforded me.
Anyway, the purpose of this diatribe was because this is Aiden's 9th Christmas. The excitement for Santa is fading, along with the belief. He hasn't quite put all of the pieces together, but he knows enough to know that something is up. He knows enough to question why the Santa helpers at the mall and downtown, if they're elves, why are they normal person size. He wasn't as excited tonight about setting out cookies and milk (although he was very convincing in that it had to be milk and not orange juice.) My little boy is growing up, and like my best friend T said to me the other day, "He's become a real person, not just a baby." It makes my heart proud, but nostalgic all at the same time.
Regardless of what you believe, or what you may happen to celebrate, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you. I hope you all are surrounded by people you love (or at least like a whole lot.) I am lucky to have this extremely small in number but HUGE in love and laughter family. They are my best friends, and they complete me in ways I could never explain. My heart hurts for people who never know that kind of love, giving or receiving.