They call him . . .

We took our daughter to see Santa last night. I feel compelled to show you the photo and require you to admire it, because we paid $25.00 for it. Seriously, I don't know how the little elf girl kept a straight face when she told me that a photo (technically, one 5 x 7 and four wallet-size) would run $24.99 plus tax. Pure crazy.

I am sure it is only a matter of time before our daughter announces that she is too old or too cool to sit on Santa's lap, so we didn't mind taking her. You never know when it is the last time. She was so excited about getting dressed up in her fancy red and black ensemble, including shoes that have the tiniest hint of a heel. We drove to the mall in separate cars because I was headed to yoga class after we were done. When we got to the mall, I watched my daughter grab her dad's hand and I walked behind them in the parking lot. Her little heels clicked on the pavement and her curls bounced behind her. At the risk of being a little sappy, that kid takes my breath away sometimes. I may be biased, but she is beautiful.

We waited in line for Santa while the kid danced around, talked to strangers, etc. When it was finally time for our daughter to visit with the man in red, her dad and I waited for her by the exit. I tried to listen to what she was telling Santa but couldn't quite hear. Later, she told me she had asked him for Polly Pockets.  Now, why is it that kids always tell Santa they want something that they had not mentioned in any way prior to that very moment? I am pretty sure that Santa had not been planning to buy Polly Pockets but now I guess he'd better consider it, eh? After visiting Santa, we dropped off the gifts we bought for Bianca (through the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program).

The annual trip to visit Santa was just part of our December festivities, of course. A and I are having a baking extravaganza on Sunday (she loves to bake but doesn't like baked goods, a fact that boggles my mind beyond all belief because I would kill a man for a particularly good brownie). We're getting our tree this Saturday. The kid is also participating in a Christmas play at church. All kinds of good stuff going on. 

After I picked her up from Kindercare yesterday, I asked my usual questions: "What did you learn today? Did you eat your lunch? Did you get in yellow?"

"Mrs. S read a book about Jesus today," she told me.

"Yeah?" I responded. "What did you learn about Jesus?" (I am happy for my child to learn about Jesus but wondered how it was presented to her. She goes to public school, after all, so I was just sort of curious. I'm hopeful that she is learning about a lot of different traditions - we have a Hanukkah book at home, for example.)

"Well, we learned about when he was a baby. And they named him Jesus. With a J."  (I'm certainly glad we're not confusing Jesus with his n'er-do-well brother, Gesus.)

I nodded. "Sure, and did you learn about Mary and Joseph?" 

She responded, "Yes, Mary was pregnant."  She didn't seem to remember a lot about the book beyond that.

"Jesus grew up to be an important person," I said. "He was a great teacher and wanted people to be kind to each other and to help those who are less fortunate." 

My daughter got kind of excited at the mention of Jesus as a teacher. But of course in her head, a teacher has a single definition: someone who stands in a room full of first-graders and covers addition and subtraction. "Mom!" she exclaimed. "When Jesus was a teacher, do you think they called him Mr. J?!" 

I started to explain that he wasn't that kind of teacher but decided that it was easier to let it go, at least for now. "No, probably not," I said.

And then, thankfully, we started talking about whether or not she could have a Gogurt when we got home.