I just know he knows.
He knows that I know.
He knows that I know that he knows.
At least I think he knows.
How could he not know? He is 11-years old, after all, and logic has set into his growing brain.
He hasn't spoken of his knowledge, however.
It is The Unspoken topic in our home.
The 9-year old is showing signs that he is starting to doubt, but he is a child that believes in the impossible. He is a dreamer. He has said to me on more than one occasion that he will cure cancer one day, so who am I to crush the dreams of a believer like that?
I will not.
But when it comes to the 11-year old, this knowledge of the non-existence of the fat man in the red suit who allegedly soars through the sky on Christmas Eve, in a sleigh pulled by eight magical, flying reindeer remains unspoken on his lips.
It is The Santa Knowledge.
Every child figures out the logic at some point, and when it came to my pragmatic, responsible oldest child, I thought it would be a lightbulb moment. I pictured us sitting down and having a conversation. I pictured a nod, and moment of, "Shhh...now you know, but please don't ruin the magic for your siblings."
Maybe that day will still come, but for now, I know he knows, but he doesn't speak of The Knowing.
And of course, I cannot speak of The Santa Knowledge with him.
Because what if?
What if he doesn't know?
Even though I just know he knows.
I just know it.
Perhaps it is because he is the oldest child. Perhaps he still doubts The Santa Knowledge, and wants to believe, because if he doesn't believe, and there really is a Santa, he will receive a big ol' pile of underwear and socks on Christmas morning. Perhaps he is just humoring us, his parents.
Perhaps he wants to keep the magic alive.
Perhaps he says nothing about The Knowledge, because knowing something and believing in something are two very different things.
Innocence is difficult thing to harness, because one moment you have it, and then within a matter of seconds, it can be gone.
Just like that.
One peek behind the curtain of life, and you become jaded, and knowledgeable.
Knowledge is power, yes, but knowledge is sometimes also a huge bummer.
Reality, as they say, bites.
Buzzkill alert, kiddos! Santa isn't real. It's all smoke and mirrors. It's your sneaky parents, who, by the way, have been lying to you since birth about the whole entire thing.
But isn't it less about lying and more about the embellishment of the truth? Because, after all, Santa is real.
I just know it.
Sure, he might not be an actual person that exists today, but don't all of us believers have a bit of Santa in our hearts this time of year?
Santa is good. Santa is kind. Santa is love. Santa helps others. Santa wants you to be nice and not naughty. Santa gives freely without expecting anything in return.
Santa is magic.
And what's wrong with believing in a little bit of magic?
What's wrong with believing in something you can't see, you can't feel, you can't touch?
Nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.
This belief in Santa, or the spirit of Santa, makes this season that much more magical. It's why some of us put elves on our shelves and make them do silly things. Because we are adults. Jaded, seen-it-all, know-it-all adults. It is why we wait in long lines at the mall to sit on the lap of a Santa impostor. We do it all because we want to try to recapture the magic of the days before we had The Santa Knowledge, and we thought the whole thing was real.
Before the boom was lowered. The Santa Knowledge boom.
Otherwise, it would just be another dreary, rainy Monday at the end of November. But when there is a sneaky elf in your house to find, it becomes a Magical Monday, as you discover that he has dyed your milk red and green. (Thank you, Pinterest for this idea.)
Otherwise, it would just be another dreary, rainy Tuesday at the end of November. But when there is a sneaky elf in your house to find, it become a Magical Tuesday, as you discover him atop the stove, having roasted a marshmallow over a tealight after you went to sleep. (Thank you to my friends Bridget and Katie for this idea!)
Otherwise, the roads and streets and night look boring and plain. But, starting at the end of November and throughout December, they twinkle and shine with millions of light, and look downright..well... magical.
Otherwise, most of us would just go about our days, thinking of only ourselves and our schedules. But at Christmas, we go out of our way to be kind. We write extra checks to charity. We drop money into red buckets staffed by bell ringers in Santa hats. We organize food drives. We tell ourselves that we are going to carry this spirit all year long.
Otherwise, we go to our mailboxes and find a pile of bills, catalogs, and credit card offers. But at Christmastime, we are excited to open our mailboxes and find cards and pictures from family and friends old and new, near and far.
All because of Christmas.
When the time comes, I hope that I have the tact and the right words to drop The Santa Knowledge on each of my children. But who really wants to drop The Santa Knowledge on anyone?
Because who says his spirit isn't alive and well in 2011?
I know it is.
I just know it.