No surprise there, right?
I was on my hands and knees picking up tiny bits of now stale banana muffin that had been discarded by a toddler, more specifically my toddler when I spotted it. A note. But not just any note. A secret note. Left in the always vacant fireplace because I’m convinced my husband has no damn idea how to light a fire but doesn’t want to admit it (challenge extended, I hope I eat these words!) Wait. What month are we in? August?
Yes, you read that correctly. Notes in the fireplace. For Santa of course. In August. Naturally, it’s entirely my fault.
It started innocently enough, as most things in life do. I was desperate to bring five year old Kayla’s tears to an end nearly three years ago. Because “nothing haunts us like the things we didn’t ask Santa for” is the kid version of “nothing haunts us like the things we didn’t buy.” Long tear and snot filled story short she forgot something SUPER IMPORTANT on her list we mailed to Santa and mom needed a quick fix for an addendum on December 22nd.
Hence the fireplace. I reassured her that a note left in the fireplace would reach him in time because Santa and fire places and almost Christmas. Craig went along with it because you never question your wife who is hosting the holidays when she gives you the look.
Little did I know that nearly three years later Santa would have transformed into an occasionally responsive pen pal (which doesn’t discourage her one bit!) and the fireplace would still be her primary communication method for talking to the jolly guy with a beard. Anyhow, back to August. Here is what I found, spelled exactly as I found it:
- Little Life Frog with cage Blue
- Coff drops red ones
- Cotton Candy (had NO problem getting that one right)
- Bowling Ball
- Bowling Pins
- Pet Chomelion
- Phone and Phone Charger with only pictures and the time, games and NO PASSCODE!
Okay, now let me translate:
- Trampoline (because that doesn’t have urgent care written all over it)
- Blue Little Live Pets Frog – a plastic pet frog which surely cost about 37 cents to manufacture. But at least in theory I wouldn’t have to participate in its care and circle of life lesson, right?
- Luden’s cherry cough drops – this made me smile because my sisters and I fought over them as kids.
- Cotton Candy – if you read this post then you know why.
- Bowling Ball – somehow she has found a passion for bowling. The least athletic sport I can imagine. Yippee!
- Bowling Pins – same as above.
- Pet chameleon – the ONLY pet in Petco which is classified as needing lots of experience with pets to take care of. Yeah. No. Have you met your mother who can kill succulents? In Southern California no less…
- Phone and Phone Charger with only pictures and the time, games and NO PASSCODE! – Ha. I love you too much to give you a phone, my still seven year old. We don’t let her play with our phones and I will not give her the pass code to mine because, OMG, epic disaster.
I read it, had an excellent gigglesnort, thought to myself GEEZ we need to work on spelling and the difference between wants and needs. Then I called Craig over to take a look. At which point we both burst into laughter. Because kids. Because parenting. Because I’m
an idiot a problem solver who thought it was a good idea to introduce the fireplace mailbox.
Because we have a daughter who has the audacity to ask for what she wants and isn’t afraid of rejection because she knows if you don’t ask you probably don’t get. So I guess there’s that little nugget. While one part of me sees this as the cutest little disaster of parenting, another sees this as diamond in the rough moment for a child of mine.
A child of mine who will one day enter the workforce. Who hopefully will never see the gaps in pay and gender equality that we as women currently see. Who hopefully will have half decent rights if she chooses to have kids and return to work. Or if heaven forbid she decides to take some time off to be home with them and share moments like these. Who if she learns from her mother will say well that’s ridiculous and decide to buck tradition and go it on her own instead of accepting that inequality. Her mother who also wrote equally ambitious and seasonally inappropriate letters to Santa at a similar age. Yep. Full circle my friends. Full circle.