6 years, 1 month.
On Saturday we drove to the neighboring town of Columbia so that you and your sister could get your picture taken with Santa. Despite having lived in our new house in Spring Hill for almost two years now, I had never driven past the Target and movie theater on the edge of town.
It was as if I had always subconsciously assumed that civilization just ended on the other side of the Spring Hill city limits sign. Turns out, on the other side is a slightly larger city with a charming culture of its own.
Before we had left the house, you had specifically asked Mommy and me, “Is this going to be the real Santa, or just one of his helpers?”
We replied that we wanted you to decide for yourself after you met him…
You then submitted the idea of pulling his beard to see if it was real. We didn’t advise against doing so- because, you know- we’re cool parents.
I really enjoyed our visit to Columbia. Our family arrived at the health food store in downtown: It was in the very back of the store where Santa was. I know that sounds random- and it was.
For $7, Mommy and I got our very first picture of you and your sister with Santa. As we were paying for the photo, I noticed you remained on Santa’s lap… with a sort of sneaky look on your face as he was talking to you.
I interpreted it as you thinking, “This isn’t really Santa and I know it- but I’m just going to go along with it.” After all, he was a young-looking Santa.
The thought ran through my head: “I wonder if Jack is about to try to pull Santa’s beard…”
But I didn’t get a chance at that point to ask you what that conversation was about. Instead, I got distracted as we took a family walk: It was just 3 blocks to Red Seven Pizza Co. for dinner.
Mommy found out about the place while Googling “vegan restaurants in Columbia” before we left the house. She told me that even had vegan cheese available. I am so glad she found it! In fact, we were all so glad she found it!
We will definitely be going back- and in the near future. Each of us got to choose exactly what we wanted on our pizzas, out of dozens of ingredients… same thing with our salads. I took advantage of the fact they had pineapples and artichokes.
I was the only one in our family to be able to finish my pizza, but I was perfectly full by the time we left. You and Mommy got to enjoy your leftovers the next day for lunch.
A few hours later as I was putting you to bed, you suddenly revealed to me, “Daddy, I asked Santa for a Rudolph stuffed animal.”
I instantly reminded you that you already bought a reindeer stuffed animal last month during your $100 shopping spree at Opry Mills Mall.
But then you explained to me that was just a reindeer, but not Rudolph, like from the classic claymation Christmas movie…
That’s when I made sure to tell you it’s important to always also tell Mommy and me what you told Santa you want for Christmas.
Because, well- for some families, Santa’s gifts were taken care of back in September and Santa wasn’t expecting to rush to Target, Toys “R” Us, or Walmart just a few days before Christmas…
Something tells me though, Rudolph and his red nose will find his way underneath the Christmas tree.