My 3 year old son, who I will ever-after for the purposes of this blog, refer to as Turbo, has not quite grasped the concept of time passage. (or of toilet paper, but that is another story and I don’t have the stomach for it tonight.) He is excited about the Christmas season this year in a way that he hasn’t been previously, but the entire affair must seem quite mystifying to him. From his perspective, it appears that Christmas:
1. Is the name of the man in the red suit, who is also sometimes referred to as Santa. But Turbo knows that his name is really Christmas, which is why he asks every day if we are going to see Christmas. (Because the squadron had a “meet Santa” event where Santa flew in on an H-60 to the hangar, which was really pretty cool. But while other kids were yelling, “Santa!” Turbo was yelling, “Christmas is coming!”)
2. Is a notion conceived by adults to allow them to wrap presents, taunt you with them and refuse to allow you to open them until this mystical “Christmas” guy shows up. (And since we see him at parties and even at WalMart lately, it is doubly confusing that Mom and Dad keep saying ‘no.’)
3. Somehow involves not only the aforementioned “Christmas / Santa” character, but also has something to do with “Roxy” the Snowman, angry trolls (I have explained that these are elves and that they are not angry or grouchy, but to no avail), reindeer, penguins and Polar Bears. I think he believes that Dora is somehow involved, too.
4. Allows Mom and Dad to warn him that “Santa is watching” in an ominous way, as if that might entice him to give up getting out of bed ninety-seven times each night or possibly convince him not to push his brother over when he thinks we’re not watching.
5. Results in the appearance of multitudes of cookies and other treats that are evidently inedible, since he is never offered any.
I have tried to use this season to talk about giving to others, and we are even sponsoring a local family for whom we are buying gifts. Turbo picked out a great toy for the boy in this family and then cried piteously when he realized that I really, honestly, truly wasn’t going to break down and let him keep it after all. “He can get HIS OWN!” was his sympathetic refrain. Next year, I guess…
As confusing as much of this probably is to little Turbo, there is an upside here. He wakes up every day lately believing truly, honestly and with all his heart, that it might be Christmas, that day I keep telling him about. Today he told the lady who cut his hair that there was only one more day until Christmas. Boy is he gonna be disappointed tomorrow. That being said, he wakes up every day full of hope and joy, thinking this could be the best day ever. And despite my fears that letting him know each day that Christmas isn’t here yet might break his little spirit, it doesn’t. Because the fact is that at three years old, he manages to find something else to be joyful about every day. I hope that will remain true his entire life because I sure do struggle to find that sense of joy in a new day sometimes.