Before we get going today, I'd like to invite you to stop back by my website at www.sarahmanderson.com to see what all I've been up to with that Authorial thing. My Web Honcho (aka Craig) has updated the synopses and excerpts for all four books in the Emerson series, and there is also a sneak peak at what's coming up next.
Okay. Back to this regularly scheduled Blog: The Moment.
Do you remember the moment? The moment you stopped being a child and started being an adult?
Maybe it was when you stumbled downstairs for a glass of water and caught your mother stuffing stockings, nary a Santa in sight. (Yes, that happened. I had to promise not to tell my sisters, but I think Leah already suspected.)
Maybe it was when you didn't get the pony you'd asked for under the Christmas Tree, despite being an extra good girl all danged year long. (Sadly, that pony never did materialize.)
Maybe it was the winter the river flooded the town, and your father, being a big, jolly kind of guy, took charge of the toy collection for those who had no home in which to have a Christmas, rented a Santa suit, and packed all those totally awesome toys into the Charger and drove away to give them to other children, not you. (Yes, he did this. It was my first real lesson in helping those in need. Sucked for the first-grader I was, though.)
Or maybe it was the first time the meteorologist predicted five inches of the fluffy stuff and instead of jumping up and down on the bed because you weren't going to school for the next day or three, you threw a hissy fit because you weren't going to get to see your current flame - or worse, you'd have to take the bus and leave your heap of a car at home. (Not that I ever threw hissy fits. Never. Honest!)(And seriously, did that meteorologist say up to 1 inch of ICE today? JEEZ!)
Whenever your moment was, this season is ripe with low-hanging fruit that screams "Grow Up." Which is somewhat ironic, given that most of us embrace a child's simplistic joy and excitement. With such high expectations, there are bound to be crashes that leave some children's concept of what they thought they knew in the world in smoldering ruins.
But there are other moments. Moments that pull you back into childhood and hold you there in a mama bear hug.
Maybe it was the first year you really weren't sure if Santa was real or not, and came down Christmas morning to find sooty footprints all over the place. (That stroke of genius bought my parents another year of Christmas grace.)
Maybe it was the time that Santa left a baseball bat in your stocking, because he knew you weren't a typical girl. (Understatement of the year.)
Or maybe it was the moment when one of the kids in your class, who was living in a hotel room on Christmas Day because her house still had eight inches of mud in it, came back to school and breathlessly told everyone that Santa had personally delivered the Sit n' Spin she'd always wanted, and threatened to punch anyone who tried to convince her that Santa wasn't real. (Oh, how I had coveted the Sit n' Spin. But it got a good home.)
Or maybe it was the moment when your son lined up all his trains just so and then informed you that they were reindeer, and named them. In order. (Kid can't even count to twenty without looping past 14 a few times, but reindeer? No problem.)
Those are the moments that we strive to cherish and protect. Those are the reasons we take children to see Santa, even if that just leads to a screaming fit of mild terror (the toddler actually sat on his lap this year, without crying! He didn't talk, but he did sit!)
Perhaps as adults who have harvested that low-hanging fruit, we realize what has gone before us, and are desperate for things to be that simple again.
The moment comes for us all. But as a parent, I hope that it comes later. For now, I just want to have meaningful debates about which chimney Santa comes down. My moment is very much his childhood.