The best truths…

“What can I have in my lunch box tomorrow?”

Miss A stands next to me as I am doing the dishes. Her face is a picture of contemplation and yet the question is disarmingly simple.

I offer options, none of which she accepts. And then, just like that, out of the blue comes the next question.

“Is there a Santa Claus?”

Truth does not need a prologue. But. Yet.

“Why do you ask?”

“Because some girls in my class say they saw their Mummies and Daddies leave gifts around the Christmas tree. There is no Santa Claus, is there?”

A parent needs childhood more than a child does.

” I wouldn’t say there is no Santa Claus.”

“So, he does exist?”

Truth does not always deal in black and white. I pull her closer and settle her on my lap.

“Do you know how excited you are on Christmas eve?”

“Uh huh”

“Do you remember how you go to bed full of giggles and happiness? How you wonder all evening about the gifts you are going to get in the morning? How you leave some carrots for Rudy and some milk and cookies for Santa? How you force yourself to fall asleep even though it is bright outside?”

“Yeah?”

“Isn’t that the best thing in the world? That feeling of happiness and excitement even when you don’t know what to expect?”

A tentative smile. Then a thoughtful, “Yes, I really, really like that, Mommy. ”

“And that is so true, isn’t it? There is nothing fake about that happiness, is there?”

“No, it is the best time of Christmas ever.”ย Her eyes are twinkling again, her face is aglow.

“There you go”, I tell her, “that is Santa Claus for you. He is not always a person with a red suit and a white beard and a reindeer called Rudy. He is the happiness in your heart on Christmas Eve, the anticipation that you have much to look forward to the next day.”

“Really?”

“Really and truly!!”

“Then why do the other girls say there is no Santa Claus, Mommy?”

“Because perhaps they want to explain everything they see. Or don’t see. But I will tell you what, A, as long as you have that sense of happiness and excitement, there will always be a Santa Claus.For magic to happen, you need to believe in it!”

“Do you believe in him?”, she needs this assurance.

“You bet I do, Missy Moo.”

“And you would say that if anyone asked you?”

“Sure as day, I would!”

She giggles a little. A hug is offered.

“Christmas doesn’t change because you are a grown up. For anyone out there willing to believe, Santa Claus still visits every Christmas Eve. ”

“What about fairies? Do you believe in them?”

Truth doesn’t always offer you the luxury of time. And sometimes, it doesn’t wait for you. So, I look into her eyes, and tell her the truth.

“Yes, I do. And I would say this in front of anyone. And if people find this funny, so be it. Because there is so much of magic in this world.”

“I believe in fairies too”, she starts. “But some people think they are for babies. ”

“Some people think being grown up is cool”, I tell her, “I think believing in magic and miracles is way, way cooler. Who wants to be a disbeliever anyway, hey?”

The truth will set you free. Especially when you believe in it.

There is a plump,buttercup moon in the sky. Somewhere in the distance a cicada sings. I tuck Miss A in and kiss her goodnight.ย As I am about to tiptoe out, a sleepy voice questions me again, “Mommy, do things have to change when one grows up?”

“I wouldn’t know”, I tell her, “I forgot to grow up. I would rather wait for Santa Claus and look for fairies under moss covered stones than accept that there is no magic in the world”.

She falls asleep with the biggest smile on her face. Moonlight sneaks into the room on silver toes. A stuffed toy stares soulfully at the garden outside her window.

There lies a thin island between the world of magic and the world of truth. You forget the name of this island if you do not go there too often. Which is a strange thing really for Belief is such an easy word to remember.

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Captain Nemo
    Aug 06, 2010 @ 17:27:36

    Lovely stuff, this one is for the text books.
    I believe in magic too and I’ve always let my heart lead me instead of my head. And sometimes when I hear other people tell me I need to grow up and change, I say to myself – I’d rather have a few more minutes of magic than a lifetime of pigheaded rationality.

    Reply

  2. Vidya
    Aug 06, 2010 @ 18:19:40

    Reminds me of few quotes:
    Faith is a belief in a thing that you do not know until you know what you believe in.

    Its like the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark. (I think Tagore’s)

    Good one Scarlet. I am on that island. Often:)

    Reply

  3. Ardra
    Aug 06, 2010 @ 18:20:20

    I’ve anointed Miss A as my own little fairy angel. Scarlett, look carefully and you’ll see her halo and gossamer wings behind her.

    I’m so glad that you’re sharing these little, what do I call these- i don’t know- I just want to say that life seems so much more easier, beautiful and magical when I read your heart monologues…
    love and hugs to to a big angel and a little angel…

    Reply

  4. Rajavel
    Aug 06, 2010 @ 19:02:02

    ๐Ÿ™‚ !

    This should have ideally brought tears to my eyes ! but i am in office and all !

    This is like … beautiful !

    Do you really have these conversations ? Really ? You say things like ” Missy moo”

    Man !

    Love it !

    Reply

  5. Altoid
    Aug 06, 2010 @ 19:48:11

    This is simply magical Scarlett- love the way you explain the hardest questions with the simplest answers.

    Reply

  6. bilbo
    Aug 06, 2010 @ 21:40:50

    phewww…. you are writing for the entire month.
    Even though, I thought I’d wait and come and read them all at once, I am back every day, though not commenting all the time.
    I am practically a resident on the Island and its a fun place to be . Did I tell you that I believed my mom thought I was a nut. So it was nice, when a few years back she told that although I goof around most of the time, I can be mature when it is required.
    I guess islanders require the occasional trip to mainland.
    keep posting every day scary. I look forward to these.

    Reply

  7. thoughtraker
    Aug 07, 2010 @ 00:10:08

    Great going, Scarlett!
    It’s lovely to come to your blog and have so much to read. And all of it so beautiful.
    The promise of more to come is eagerly awaited. Perhaps some of the magic will rub off on this cynical old soul!

    Reply

  8. Gauri
    Aug 07, 2010 @ 11:17:07

    Magical, Scarlett ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s what you’ve done with your words in this post. And yes, it is such a nice feeling to know that the “inner child” is still vibrant and alive. It is so important to keep it that way ….. even when we “grow up” …. for, it adds so much more to life :).

    Reply

  9. scarlettletters
    Aug 07, 2010 @ 19:55:21

    Captain, Vidya – thanks. We are so lucky in that we choose to believe ๐Ÿ™‚ Wouldn’t change it for a thing.
    Ardra, thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugs back to you too.
    Rajavel – we really do have these talks. Usually while doing the dishes. And I do call her Missy Moo! ๐Ÿ˜›
    Alty, Billy, Ano, Gauri – thanks. You ladies are very kind ๐Ÿ™‚ The best gift you can give a child is childhood – most adults would do well with one too.

    Reply

  10. Priyamvada
    Aug 10, 2010 @ 02:12:36

    Awww….Kamala had this same question at age 8 and I said “Santa Claus is real and his spirit lives in the heart of the parents”.

    She saw through this and broke into tears. Wish I had a beautiful answer like you.

    Btw, “I forgot to grow up” is simply priceless! Who wants to grow up anyway?

    Priya.

    Reply

  11. Aria
    Oct 05, 2010 @ 04:18:33

    was reminded of my own childhood when I sat alone on my terrace under the stars waiting for a fairy ..
    sigh.. perhaps I HAVE grown up.. stopped believing in magic or Santa Claus long ago..
    your conversations with Miss A are always enchanting ..

    Reply

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