22 December, 2003

Magic of Christmas

Santa Claus kneels on the carpeted floor, listens attentively to the little girl addressing him with serious eyes. All in green, my daughter answers carefully his questions as to her behavior. His voice is soft, gentle, reassuring, and sweetly familiar. I capture this moment with my eyes, she leaning against his red fur suit, he tenderly cupping her shoulder. A camera in my hands cannot frame this earnest exchange, as both of them have photograph radar, and turn to pose with nary even an interruption. It's past nine and Santa has arrived for the most brief of visits, many of the children having already gone home from this party where he is a welcome surprise guest. Santa exits quietly and without ceremony, having said farewell to each child. My daughter runs out the door and calls after him, "I love you, Santa!" Turning back, the deep voice answers, "I love you, too."

And tears spring to my eyes as the pieces of the Universe fall into place. I am created to love people, created to create people who love people.

He soon re-enters as himself. I do not tell this fight choeographer that I have hurt my shoulder, elbow, arm, toes and neck doing stage combat that I've neither the training nor the coordination to carry off properly. He'd shake his head at me and call me a stupid girl. Which I am.

We walk out of Tom and Mary Ann's lovely party together. He hugs me one-armed, and I tell him, "I love you." He pats me and says, "You take care."

Yes. Thanks.