At 9-years old I know we are on the verge of Santa leaving our house forever. I am grateful and somewhat amazed when we manage one more year. After all, he has two big brothers who have been in on the secret for quite sometime now and when you are in the third grade there is bound to be some non-believers around.
I know eventually the question will come up but now I'll be ready with an answer.
This evening we were running around trying to get some things accomplished. First to the laundromat to dry three loads of laundry because the dryer has decided to stop working, to the grocery store because we are having our holiday staff breakfast tomorrow and I'm in charge of the fruit salad, and lastly to Target to buy a birthday gift and some wrapping paper.
By the time I got to Target all I really wanted to do was go home. It's cold, it's windy and my nice warm house, my couch and my laptop were calling my name.
As we stepped out of the car and headed into the store I heard someone say, "Excuse me." There before us was a woman, without a coat, holding a box of candy canes which she had made into reindeer. She asked very politely if we would like to buy one, "because I'm just trying to buy my kids something for Christmas."
I had no cash on me. I apologized but told her if she was still here when I came out, I would buy one.
I headed into the store thinking Patrick was right behind me. but then I heard,
I turned around to see Patrick reach into his pocket and take out the three dollars the tooth fairy left him last night. He handed it to the woman and happily took his candy cane reindeer from her.
I teared up. He ran over to me in his happy Patrick way and I hugged him. I told him how very proud I was of him and how he just made Christmas just a little bit better for someone.
He said, "now I'm broke, but it's okay."
So someday when he asks me if there is a Santa I will tell him yes, of course there is and I'll remind him of what he did tonight.
Because tonight Patrick, you were Santa Claus.