This morning I woke up excited about tonight; it was time to take Robbie to see Santa! Like most things, I built this moment up in my mind. It was going to be perfect. Robbie would be his personable self and patiently sit on Santa’s lap. We’d get a great picture to put up on the fridge next to last year’s (we just never took it down). But, things went as they can only go when you’ve built up the perfect moment in your mind…

I got Robbie changed into his perfect Santa outfit when I picked him up from daycare (an hour late because of professional development meetings). Justin met us there, and it was off to the mall. We stopped for Chik-fil-a for dinner, and I smartly left Robbie’s coat on and zipped up to prevent any damage to the perfect Santa outfit. Did you know Chik-fil-a gives a 50% military discount? Neither did I until after we placed our order… But excellent information to know for the future!

After dinner, we made our way to the North Pole. There was a near disaster on the escalator, where we learned why you aren’t supposed to have strollers on them. A funny thing happens when a stroller wheel gets stuck: the escalator keeps going. Crisis averted, we continued down the mall with Robbie waving to passersby from his stroller. I think the kid’s going to make a great politician…

We arrived at the North Pole, and Robbie sat up a little straighter in his stroller. It was like he could sense something momentous was about to occur. The line moved quickly, and, suddenly, we were at the front. Justin tried to pass Robbie to Santa, and the child turned into part spider monkey. He refused to let go of Justin. I finally managed to get Robbie, and we sat down next to Santa. The patient man handed Robbie a candy cane, which seemed to soothe him some.

Miraculously, the lady snapping pictures managed to catch Rob between shrieks. Instead of being in a full-on scream, he only looks merely horrified at his situation. Being the good mom that I am, I tried to pick the one where he appeared to be in the most distress. After all, if you’re going to have a bad Santa picture (crying child, mom without brushed hair or lipstick…), you might as well go all the way. Justin and I are considering going to Natick to the Santa we saw last year next week. I know it sounds silly, but I like the idea of having pictures of Robbie with the same Santa.

The Christmas spirit was alive and well in Lawrence today, too. One of my favorite students stopped me in the hall today and told me he had an ornament for me. I wasn’t sure I’d heard correctly, but he pulled something out of his pocket. It was, indeed, an ornament. He had decorated a clothes pin to look like a nutcracker. I was so flabbergasted! Later, I asked my student what had caused him to decide to make this ornament for me (even now, I still have a hard time picturing him sitting down to make it, surrounded by clothes pins, paint, glittery pipe cleaners, and puffy balls for hair). He said his niece and uncle were making Christmas ornaments, so he decided to make one. Earlier in the week, I’d told my kids that I had a list of all the ornaments I’ve ever received with the names of the people who gave them to me. My students said he thought that was pretty cool and wanted to be on my ornament list. And he did make the list; it will be the first entry for 2010!


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