This year, Trenton asked Santa for two things. They were simple and fun:
1) A Balloon Kit (to make balloon animals like his aunt JuJu)
2) A Bandaloom
I made sure both items were ordered online in sufficient time, and hid them well at my Dad’s mechanic shop when they came. Lacy asked for two things as well, but not at the same time:
1) A Sewing Machine (they make awesome mini machines for like 50 bucks!)
2) A Bandaloom
She didn’t let me know she planned on asking Santa for a bandaloom until it was far too late to order one online. I remembered my sweet cousin offered to sell me the one she owned which was used but in great condition, so I stocked the thought in my memory…
Alicia, don’t forget to buy Clarissa’s bandaloom in time for Christmas. But don’t worry, you’ve got time…
You’ve got time. Those three words will be my ultimate undoing.
Needless to say, midnight came on Christmas Eve and THEN I remembered.
“Danny, I forgot! the bandaloom! Clarissa’s bandaloom!”
“Are they awake still?” He asked. We texted, we facebook messaged… nothing.
After some thought, we took a game of chess/checkers we’d bought, put it with Lacy’s stuff and wrote a note “from Santa” that said basically, “I know you asked for a bandaloom, but a little elf told me you’d be getting one on Christmas Day from someone else… wonder who it is?”
We planned on having Clarissa wrap and give the bandaloom to Lacy under the guise of a GIFT, but we’d actually pay her.
It SEEMED sketchy, but there’s really no blessed end to the rosy imaginings that Lacy will believe (something I love most about her and only take advantage of SOMEtimes).
We went to bed a little troubled, but too tired to lose another wink of sleep.
Four hours later at 6 am, I heard a knock. My eyes popped open.
Was that the door?
I held still and listened… it wasn’t the door. Was it in my mind? Was I crazy? What time…? I pulled my cell phone very close to my blind eyes and looked. It was 6 am, and I had a text from Clarissa. She had the bandaloom ready.
“Danny,” I hissed in the dark, “Danny… Rissy has the bandaloom. What should we do?”
“My body says sleep,” he moaned, “But my heart…”
He rolled out of bed and into a pair of tennis shoes. I stood guard outside the kids’ room and watched Danny open our bedroom window.
“Wait!” I whispered, “You need money to pay for it!”
“I don’t have any left!”
We both knew where there WAS money… and someday we’ll sit Lacy down and tell her about the year Dad launched himself from the bedroom window to buy her Santa gift with her own piggy bank money. But today is not that day. We’ll tell her in a few years when the truth about Santa and been uncovered and the money has been long replaced.
“You gonna be okay?” I smiled at him literally perched in the frame of our window, his 34-year old body in a tired squat.
“Ten four,” he said, saluted me and disappeared into the night.
We texted back and forth furiously.
I had to go to the bathroom, but I couldn’t leave my station.
6:30 came and my alarm went off.
I fumbled my phone in the darkness, cursed in my mind, listened with every inch of my ear to make sure there was NO MOVEMENT from the kids’ room. That’s when the cats outside got into a hissy fight, and I cursed in my mind again.
The bedroom door creaked open and Lacy gasped out loud.
“Mom! What are you DOING?! you SCARED ME!” she whispered out loud to the dark, hovering figure of her mother looming in her doorway.
I apologized and told her to stay put.
“I heard the cats…” she said.
“Did it scare you?”
“Did Santa come?”
“He DID!” I said, my eyes glowing with Santa magic, “But you can’t come out until Daddy gets back inside. He took the dog out.”
And then I texted the lie to my husband, “WE HAVE A WAKER. I told her you were taking the dog out. Do not come back through the window.”
“Mom, I really have to pee,” my son was now awake and trying to push by.
“Not yet! We need to wait for Dad!”
“I won’t even look, Mom, I promise, but I HAVE TO PEE.”
“You can wait…”
And that’s when he peed his pants.
Dad came in, the chess/checkers game was put between my stocking and Danny’s stocking. Santa’s note disappeared.
The bandaloom was put in it’s rightful place, and Magic was had all around.
As Lacy pulled her Santa gifts down and played with them, she was in complete awe.
“Mom,” she said, her bright eyes looking up into mine, “Santa is an incredible man.”
I looked up at Danny and agreed with her.