Friday, December 19, 2014

A Visit with St. Nick

There are a lot of places where you can go see Santa this time of year, but I've made it our tradition for the kids to have their chat with him at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. After all, although Santa's helpers often fill in for him at other sites, it's always the genuine Santa, Jolly Old Saint Nick himself, who sits on the couch here for the children's visits.

It's also a convenient excuse to spend the whole day at the museum, the kids love the winter-themed exhibits--
The sliding pond: Some of the kids' friends already find the Children's Museum too baby-ish, I'm told, but my two are the ones who will still be there, in their 30s, happily sliding on the pond and building with blocks and riding the carousel over and over.

--and here, unlike at most other places, you can take your own photos of these magical moments:

Syd still gets a little freaked out anticipating visiting with Santa--she was consumed by the "naughty or nice" question this year.
Will, on the other hand, couldn't give a flip how naughty she was--she wants a robotic dinosaur for Christmas!
I couldn't hear what they were saying, but considering that Will's letter to Santa this year stated that she'd been "somewhat good lately," there's really no telling.
 Try as I might, I am just not one of those "breathe deeply; focus on the moment" sort of people. I know that if you're frantically rushing through the Christmas holiday, stressed and struggling to get everything done, then you're doing it wrong, but dang it, that's just the way that I operate. Right this second, for instance, as I write this, I'm freezing under a blanket and waiting for Matt to text me with the time that the furnace repair person *might* be here, I'm deciding if I should have the kids make popcorn or cut up apples to bring to their math class party that starts in 55 minutes (and I'm about to have to get out from under this blanket and go kick their butts to get ready for it!), I'm hoping that the internet works at the community center where the math class is held so that I can sit in their library and finish another paid writing gig there (and email a couple of customers to explain that my shipping deadline was indeed firm, so they will want to cancel their orders) so that I can then work on some big handmade gifts when I get back home, I'm wondering if I should email Will's aerial silks teacher to nag her that I don't yet know her performance call times for tomorrow, and I've just this second realized that instead of working on my own handmade gifts this afternoon, I'll actually need to guide the kids through making theirs for their dad instead, since this is the last day that we'll have him out of the house until Christmas.

But I do enjoy these special times, as fleetingly as they come and go, as hard as I work to manage them and plan them. I memorize the expression on my true believer's face as she nervously contemplates whether she has, in fact, been naughty or nice this year. I smile at my ten-year-old, as blissfully "ice fishing" for stuffed fish as the couple of toddlers next to her are. And once I have snapped many, many photos of my children talking with Santa, and I'm positive that I've gotten THE shot, then yes, I do put down my camera, breathe deeply, wonder what they're saying to each other to make the kids giggle like that and Santa to have that particular expression on his face...

... and yes, fine. For a few seconds, I focus on the moment.

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