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A Visit To The North Pole

By Jennifer Tarzian

It's the annual outing every Christmas-celebrating parent makes. The trip to see Santa Claus. I so wanted that perfect picture of my son with the famous bearded elf.

The adventure began with a 45 minute wait in line behind all the other eager parents and children. As the parent of a toddler, I have come to realize that all of these "special events are ten times more exciting for me than for him. I stood there in blissful anticipation as we crept ever closer to the man in red. My son, on the other hand, was busy devising a way to tear down the candy cane border that held us in line. Santa? Who's Santa? And of course my husband didn't share my enthusiasm either. With a shocking statement of, "You know what they need to do here is have two Santas to speed up the process" I was convinced the Christmas hopes and dreams of all children within earshot of us would surely be ruined. Yet I didn't let their lack of interest get me down. I was determined to get that glorious picture of my son with Santa to show off to all my friends and family.

And then the moment presented itself. "Would you like a picture with Santa? the elf assistant asked. I think I blurted out the word "Yes faster than on my wedding day. We stepped into the North Pole and made our way to St. Nick. I secretly kept my fingers crossed as my husband placed our darling son on Santa's lap. We backed up slowly as if we were preparing for a small bomb to go off. And ironically, one did. My little boy's lips began to quiver and before we could say, "It's Ok, Santa's your friend! the siren already sounded. A scream so shrill it made the hair on my neck stand up. So, that was the end of that. We grabbed our son, hung our heads in embarrassment, and quickly removed ourselves from the North Pole.

Am I really embarrassed? Yes and no. I'm not embarrassed at my son's behavior. I mean, come on - everything we teach our kids revolves around being weary of people they don't know. So why should I be surprised that he gets upset when I put him in the lap of an overweight, bearded stranger covered in red velvet, while surrounded by singing plastic animals? I'm proud of him for not talking to strangers!  I am, however, embarrassed at my own behavior. I admit I get caught up in doing what's "cute and not what my son wants to do. He's still so young that he can't tell me what he wants, so I guess I make those choices for him. I know that will change very shortly - and I'm sure I will seriously question the choices he does make. But until then, we'll see how he handles Santa next year!

About The Author
Jennifer Tarzian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Her experience includes sales, service, and managing a small corporation. She is proud to be a stay-at-home mom and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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