Becky was sitting in our front yard on the wooden bench, a tall glass of water in one hand, the garage door open and all it’s toys supplying an endless stream of neighborhood kids, a yard full of happy little people playing all around her.
Ten year-old Jordan from next door wanders over, stands before Becky, looks her in the eye and asks, “Is Santa Claus still alive?”
Without hesitation Becky answered him matter-of-factly, ”No, he died a long time ago.”
“I knew it!”
It was then that Becky realized what she’d just done.
“It’s the parents right?” Jordan continued with his interrogation, realizing he may never again find an adult as ungifted at subterfuge as my wife.
“You’d have to ask your parents,” she said. “I don’t know who brings your presents.”
This is what passes for damage control in Becky’s mind. I don’t know who brings your presents? First carrots and celery were served as snack to kids in our front yard, then they were made to put away their trash and toys before they could head home and now she’s killing their Santa Claus?
Four year-old Gavin from across the street stood at the edge of our garage, half hidden in its shade, his hand frozen over his mouth, his eyes wide and staring at Becky in disbelief. Then he saw something shiny and skipped away.
Shew. That was close.