Poor kid, he has an irrational fear of Santa Claus. His dad will sometimes park the kid with me, if I’m free, on first and third weekends, at least for a little while. Pretty specific instructions, last weekend.
“There’s a thing at his school, have to bring an unwrapped gift, here,” handing me a toy with price tag, “and he can sit on Santa’s lap. Text me a picture…”
I don’t have kids, so this is a little treat for me. My buddy catches a break, which, as this kid gets older, I understand. The child — Capricorn — is handful, at best. While fun for me, I get to take a nap later. I also get to take the kid fishing. That would include the lake, the coast, and Chuckie Cheese.
“You pimpin’ my kid?”
Eye roll. No, he works for me. I have an investment.
So Santa Claus at the school, sure, this would be the second time I’ve taken that kid to see a Santa Claus, and it would be the second time that the kid’s bravado, bravery, and macho swagger fails. Epic fail. Swings into the school yard, plenty of bluster. Says hello to a buddy, same size person, and then? As we approach Santa Claus, the kid is is suddenly wrapped around my leg.
If you’re afraid of old white men in red, winter suits, festooned with faux-fur, and long, white beards? Yeah, who am I to force the issue. Dads can do that — not my job.
We were wearing shorts that day, so a weird guy in Halloween Costume, I suppose, to someone that child’s size, might be scary.
Furthermore, I will not add any trauma or drama — especially not burdened with Xmas — myself. I carried enough of that crap for years.
“You boy is lovely! I can see he has your eyes.”
Yeah, not really. I’m not blood kin. Cosmically connected, maybe. Just not blood. Which is cool.
If the kid is afraid of the jolly guy in the suit? I’m not going to force it. Or maybe, the child is of that super-brilliant generation, maybe he knows that this all a marketing push.
I may be a bit bitter, but anytime around a kid, even though it might be short-lived experiences for me, anytime like that makes me relive childhood myself.
If he doesn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap? I’m not going to force the issue.
As his dad would say?
“Thanks, man. I really appreciate this.”
So do I!