FOREWARNING and sideways PARENTAL ADVISORY: Due to the tender subject matter of this week’s column (and potential for younger readers) we’ll be handling this topic with some degree of couth and delicacy. Exercising extreme caution in presentation to directly address things indirectly, so as not to come across as a hypocritically counter of the point in question. If you get the subtext you can share in the humor or aggravation. If you don’t get it, don’t sweat it; this just means you’re still young at heart.
Is it just me or does the holiday season seem to be moving along like a Chinese bullet train, loaded with nitroglycerin, on fire, pursued by ballistic heat seeking missiles and piloted by a blind Koala jacked-up on methamphetamines and Fruit Loops? Halloween was scarcely there (no emphasis on scare), Thanksgiving wasn’t very thankful. And now as we plow into December, it feels the year will be over, done with, gone before we get our Xmas shopping done. Still working on that, as the Grandson, a.k.a. Saw3, was delayed in writing his letter to Santa.
He asked for my assistance in composing and began numbering the lines. Whoa, hold on kiddo, you just can’t give Santa a list. That seems rude and demanding. He understood, wrote Dear Santa … and then began numbering again. No, no, no you’ve got to have a proper introduction, let him know you’ve been good and deserve some gifts for that reason. Because hey — writing practice. So we constructed a proper introduction and now the list… which consisted of three words- STAR… WARS… STUFF.
That’s a little vague there, kid… we need to be a little more specific as there is a crap-ton of “Star Wars stuff” out there. He knew the name of nothing (as he’s new to the Force) so we did an internet search. As it turns out everything he didn’t know he wanted was from the three original films and not readily available at any store near you, me or anybody… joy.
“Does Santa make all the toys?” Well… hmmm actually no, he uses eBay sometimes, to track down stuff that’s harder to make or find. Answer accepted, letter mailed and the next morning a surprise waited in the mailbox. “Look Santa left me a little gift… what is this thing?” It’s a Kazoo. “How did he know I wanted one… what’s a kazoo? Look his phone numbers on it in golden letters!” Well a kazoo is… wait, phone number??? It was actually the number of the kazoo manufacturer, but he had to catch the bus so we let it slide. And a cheerful lil fellow headed off to school, but by that afternoon his mood was quite the opposite.
He came to Grammie (a.k.a. Lil Red a.k.a. the spouse) that afternoon visible hurt and confusion on his usually smiling face. In happily recanting his Santa letter tale to his classmates, he’d been countered with “There’s no such thing.” Red’s heart went out to him, recanting her own elementary years when she’d been chastised to tears by nonbelievers. And told him not to worry about what the other kids said because not everybody believed the same and that was okay. My reaction was quite different and cannot see print because PG-13 it was not, “mindlessly enraged” sums it up pretty good though.
Everyone likes to use the go-to excuse of “kids can be cruel” for things like this, but can’t kids be taught not to be thoughtless a**holes? In our civilized modern society we constantly scream and preach equality, understanding and respect. Should this same respect not apply to others’ beliefs and be passed onto our children?
Kids don’t have to be cruel. If they’re old enough to know the “truths” of the world then they’re old enough to know compassion. If you decide your child doesn’t need to believe in something anymore, or they question a belief so much you run out of answers, how hard is it to tag on, “keep it to yourself?” Let other kids hang onto that magical innocence as long as they can, once it’s gone… adulthood lasts forever.
On a closing note — yes there is a Santa Claus… he visited last week to ask about where to find Star Wars stuff. Tune in next week for… Act 2?
I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at email@example.com. Hope to hear from ya until then try and stay focused. See ya.