This year may be the end of an era for Ewan. His logical, Vulcan brain has decided to rebel against the magical notion of Santa Claus. It’s possible that the word on the 3rd grade street has reached his young ears. It’s also possible that his autistic brain has decided that the laws of physics cannot sustain the notion of a large man in a red suit squeezing down a narrow chimney; most especially for those houses that rely on a forced air furnace for winter heating purposes. In his head, Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand of the market’ would never allow for the dispensation of multiple gifts in a down-turn economy and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity cannot rationalize Santa’s jaunt across multiple time zones within such a relatively short period of time. This boy has figured it out and rationalized it seven ways to Sunday—Santa simply cannot be real.
Oh how I lament this turn of events. There aren’t enough behavioral stickers on the entire North American continent that can compete with the phrase, ‘If you’re bad Santa will put coal in your stocking!” This phrase has been the very essence of my being for a full 8 weeks for each of the past 8 years of my life. From Halloween to Christmas Day, I have successfully avoided major meltdowns by playing the Santa card. How on earth will I ever compete with the threat of coal from a magical overweight man that has clearly been prescribed an unhealthy dose of Prozac?
Now let’s hope and pray he keeps his newfound discovery to himself as I still have the 6 year old in my pocket for a few more years. Actually, Vaughn may be a college graduate before he concedes in the world without Santa Claus argument. Because I am raising two very different boys in this house. One child approaches life from the perspective of a marooned Starship Enterprise expeditionary force and the other is clearly somehow related genetically to Dr. Seuss.
Imagine for a moment the arguments that spring forth between such minds.
Several years ago, Vaughn took a pencil with a big fat eraser on the end and made it into a torch as he explored the famous bear cave of the Midwest (i.e. the bedroom he shared with big brother). Ewan did not care for such silliness as he pored over his favorite encyclopedic volume of stinging insects. “No, no, no,” he cried out, “You have no open flame in MY bedroom Vaughn. It’s a PENCIL! Moooom, tell him it’s a pencil!”
Or more recently, when Vaughn brought in a rock from the driveway and proceeded to tell Ewan that this ‘cursed’ rock was a souvenir he brought back from his latest trip to Narnia through the bathroom closet door. Ewan did not take calmly to Vaughn’s claims of inter-dimensional space time travel with a souvenir that was clearly a very common sedimentary rock fragment found in most yards throughout the whole of Florida.
Yet Vaughn pushes on, undeterred despite his big brother’s strict adherence to the three laws of thermodynamics. For him, life remains a mysterious world full of monsters, dragons, famous tattooed Airbenders, and Narnian cursed rocks. And for the time being, Santa remains as real as he imagines him to be despite what Ewan thinks of the time space continuum problems surrounding a multinational tour in a flying sleigh.