all of the selves we Have ever been
My sweet nephew went off to kindergarten a true believer.
It didn’t take long for the “big kids” to shake his faith.
That first Christmas after entering school, my nephew launched his own inquiry: Is there a Santa Claus? After weighing the evidence and talking to experts such as his grandmother, Tony concluded that, to stop believing, was just too big a chance to take.
Many years later, my son Sam, went off to grade school. It wasn’t long before he began to ask questions suggesting that he was having doubts of his own. Then, on Christmas morning, with tissue paper flying, flashbulbs flashing, and the video-camera recording, the action came to a sudden halt. “Santa must be a thief!” Sam announced to the room. “There are tags on these things!”
Stung and surprised, I recovered quickly and came up with an explanation—something about the size of Santa’s sleigh, and helping local businesses. Sam accepted my words. We were back in action with the camera rolling.
Eventually, Tony and Sam each became one of the big kids with the holiday scoop. They seemed to accept their changing understanding of reality and how the world works, but it was the parents who grieved the loss.
It has been a very difficult year. Many are wondering, will there still be Christmas? More than ever, I want to believe. Fighting the gloom, I decorated the Christmas tree and hung up the lights. In the process, I realized something: no matter what the big kids say, children do not give up on magic. They trust in a successful transfer of power. Our children let go of Santa because they believe in us. There will still be Christmas.
As my nephew Tony concluded, it is too big of a chance to take. Keep believing. There is magic in each of us. The show must go on because someone believes in you.
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