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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Santa Was Done In By Vegetables

(On the drive home)

Pandora: It's almost Christmas.

Hope: Yep.

Pandora: Are you getting excited?

Hope: Yep.

Pandora: (looks over at Hope) Yep? Really? You don't sound that excited.

Hope: I'm excited, Mom.

Pandora: ...

Hope: You know I don't believe in Santa anymore, right?

Pandora: I had a feeling, yes, but we never really talked about it so... I was just going to keep going until you said something. Guess I can let it go now, huh?

Hope: Well, you can keep it going if you want to, but... I know he isn't real.

Pandora: (stays quiet for a moment) Well... that makes me kinda sad. When did you stop believing? Last year?

Hope: I started thinking he wasn't real two years ago, but you threw me off with that letter from Santa because I knew it wasn't your hand writing. That was a good one, Mom. You bought yourself some time on that one. But last year I knew for sure he wasn't real.

Pandora: What happened last year?

Hope: Last year I was at Dad's for Christmas.

Pandora: ...and?

Hope: ...and he had this stupid Video email from "Santa" to me and that's how I knew it wasn't real.

Pandora: Yeah, I saw that video. He sent it to me before he sent it to you. I wondered how it was going to go over.

Hope: It didn't go over well, Mom. As soon as Santa told me that I better be a good girl and eat all my vegetables I knew it was fake.

Pandora: (smiles to herself) It was the vegetable line that did it?

Hope: Yeah. I mean... eat my vegetables? Come on, Mom! I know enough from talking to you that being a good person has nothing to do with eating my vegetables! And all Santa Clause can tell me is to eat my stinking vegetables??? I knew right then that it wasn't Santa talking to me -- it was Dad. Dad and his stupid vegetable rules...

Pandora: Hahahahahahahaha!!!

Hope: (stares at Pandora)

Pandora: I'm sorry, Honey Girl. I know that had to be disappointing and it isn't funny but... I saw that video and thought the same thing about the vegetable line and hearing you say that just made me laugh. I'm sorry.

Hope: (smiles a bit) Yeah... I guess it is kinda funny, isn't it.

Pandora: Yes... it is... I am sorry though. I'm sorry that was how you found out.

Hope: Eh... it isn't how I found out. I just started to know and that made me sure.

Pandora: Well, it makes me sad. Having you believe in Santa brought some of the magic back to Christmas that I lost once I grew up. It was really nice to have it back for a while.

Hope: (looks at Pandora) I can still pretend if you want me to.

Pandora: No... no pretending. This is a part of growing up.

(they sit in silence for a moment)

Hope: That was a really good letter that one year though, Mom. I sat in my room and read it over and over. It said a lot of good things. And I thought maybe it was you because of what it said, but the handwriting... I knew the handwriting wasn't yours. I even took it to school and showed some of my friends and they all started thinking that maybe it really was Santa. We all talked about it. None of us could figure it out.

Pandora: (smiles)

Hope: How did you do that, Mom?

Pandora: That's for me to know and you to find out, Hope. Santa may not be real, but that doesn't mean I don't have a magic all my own.

(Hope smiles at her mom and they quietly drive the rest of the way home.)

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