The heat started blaring cold air through the vents as soon as I started the car. It always seems to take forever to warm up. I said my thank you to the seat warmer as I flipped the switch. It heats up instantly. A warm butt equals a warm me. This motto was instilled into me at a very young age because of my mom. When my sister and I were kids she would always make us get winter coats that covered our bottoms, “to keep us warm,” she would say. I always thought this idea was ridiculous. I wanted the turquoise coat with the tight elastic waistband and white stripes going up the front (it was the 80’s when I was a kid). That never happened. We were forced to pick out a sensible winter coat that covered our butts, and preferably a long coat that covered our legs. Ugh!
“Mom,” Bradley said from the backseat. He’s wearing a black stocking cap and bright blue stretchy gloves that do not what-so-ever match his gray coat. For some reason he loves those silly gloves, so to me he looks super adorable. “I need a scarf. Scarves are cool.” He has mentioned this once before when Brad was in the car. Brad said, “Scarves are for girls.” I protested this immediately. Let the kid wear a scarf if he wants to. He’s in kindergarten.
“And I want some of those things that go over your ears.”
“Earmuffs,” I told him. “You know, Santa will be coming soon. Maybe he will bring you some.”
This Santa business is my excuse for everything this time of year. I get the necessities and wrap them up. Socks and underwear. New jeans and gloves. And of course some toys. I’m not a mean Santa. If he’s lucky he will get a tooth-brush in his stocking, maybe even an electric one! Heck, I haven’t actually thought much about Christmas yet, and I should be with six kids to get presents for. Phew!
I also love the threat of Santa. If you are a parent you know exactly what I mean. Even if you aren’t a parent, think back to when you were a kid. “Santa is watching. He knows if you are good or bad.” So if the boys are acting up, I’ve pulled the Santa threat out of my stocking and said, in my mom warning voice, “Boys, you better behave. Santa is watching.” Of course Santa is watching. I’m right here.
But when you think about it…it is kind of creepy. Some guy you don’t know is always watching you and may or may not bring you presents. We have weird traditions.
I pulled up along side of Bradley’s school and let him out. I kissed the top of his head as he was trying to escape to the playground.
“Have a super good day!” I called out. “I’ll pick you up after school.”
“Bye, Mom,” he said, not looking back.
I pulled away. Off to work.