Caleb has known, since he was little, that Santa does not exist.  We still joke about Santa, and pretend he’s real, and it has become a fun joke/game between him and I over the years.  That is, until last night.  Caleb, for the first time, sat on Santa’s lap.  There was a special Christmas party at JS and this church brought in a Santa.  Caleb was devastated that we had to leave for church before Santa made his appearance.  I don’t know what it was…I mean, he’s never sat on Santa’s lap before.  He’s seen it in the movies and the kids we live with have been talking up Santa’s lap big time.  So he’s had more exposure, for sure, to the idea of Santa this year (than in years past.)  It seems, though, that Santa means something different to him this year.  It’s as if he needs something magical to be true, and for him to see that with his own eyes, for him to have hope and be happy.  You all know that he’s been going through an extremely sad, depressed and difficult time these past months.  As his Mama, my heart breaks for him and for the sadness that is so deep inside him…that I can’t fix.  Most days I don’t recognize who my son has become, since the move, and I’m not sure he’ll ever know just how much I hurt for him.  In light of this, back to Santa.  When I told him we had to leave, as I said before, he was devastated.  I have never more in my life wanted to change a decision I’ve made.  Some friends of mine were there as we were walking away, and they saw it too.  I told them what happened and how I’ve never wanted more to skip church…for some reason Caleb just needed this.  It was so cool, one of them went and spoke with the people in charge and hatched a plan.  They took Santa into a separate room and Caleb was invited in for time with just him and Santa.  I know it must sound dumb but Caleb was speechless.  I even teared up because I saw peace and joy in my son, something so rare for him these days.  He sat there just staring into this man’s eyes and whispering to him what he wanted for Christmas.  Everyone standing around was tearing up as well.  I’m not sure exactly what happened but I think the Lord impressed on their hearts, in those minutes, how much Caleb needed to feel hope and how sitting on this Santa’s lap did that for him.

“How did he know my name, Mama?  I should never have told you, Mama, what I wanted for Christmas.  I should have only told Santa and then I would have known on Christmas morning if he is really real or not.”

We rushed off to church, cleaned out the car and then headed to bed.

Tucking him in, just before he fell asleep, he turned to me and said “Mama, Jesus must be really excited.  His birthday is only 9 days away.”

That wasn’t prompted by me, in any way, and I was overcome with such thankfulness, peace and hope for what God is going to continue doing in our lives.

Jobs, relationships, finances and piles of dirty laundry and dishes can create such chaos.  When I get the glimpse that God has not cast Caleb and I to the side it’s…well, so hopeful.

There’s such shit all around…ex husbands at JS have been showing up trashed and drugged, threatening all sorts of garbage.  The kids are out of control doing all sorts of crap imaginable.  Not to mention the horrors that have been going on in our country – and everywhere.  Syrians are standing at the Turkish border, not being allowed in, dying every night because they’re sleeping out in freezing temperatures with no tents.  Kids in Romania in an attempted suicide cycle these past couple of months.  Just so much.

In light of it all I’m just thankful for our family.  Thankful that we will almost all be together very soon.  Thankful for something so simple as Grandpa’s boat, for Caleb being able to sit on Santa’s lap last night and that Jesus’ birthday is just 9 days away.IMG_0630