On Sunday afternoon, Andy, Julie and I braved the mall crowds to take the babies to see Santa. We stood in line, playing zone defense against Henry and Eleanor’s attempts to run out into the mall. We marveled at the huge Christmas tree, and had the babies point out all the “balls” that decorated it. They also were excited over the fake snow and poinsettias that lined the waiting area. As we approached the end of the line, we got our first glimpse of Santa. “Look, kids! There’s Santa!” we told Henry and Eleanor, and they watched him as he discussed holiday wishes with the children ahead of us in line.
It was all a happy, magical Christmas family outing. And then it was our turn to see Santa. Andy held one baby, I held the other, and we approached the bench where Santa sat. Henry and Eleanor started to realize that no, we weren’t just going to gaze upon Santa from a distance, we were actually going to sit with Santa, and the fright became evident on their faces. Did Andy and I say, “no thanks, Santa, perhaps next year?” No, we didn’t. We plopped the babies down on either side of the jolly red-suited man and laughed while their photo was being taken. After a few snapshots we rescued them from Santa’s horrifying clutch, as the line behind us looked on in amusement/pity. Even though they calmed down pretty quickly, if future Henry and Eleanor read this some day, I’d just like you to know that your first round of therapy is on Mommy and Daddy.