I took the Princess to see Santa today. I take her every year so this is not earth shattering. However, this year was different. Somehow, I knew that this year, she was doing it for me. She didn’t need to see Santa. She had already written him a letter. More importantly (and I think she’s realized this), she had told her dad and I what she really wanted for Christmas. She had her bases covered. She didn’t need to see Santa, but somehow she knew that I needed her picture with Santa. I’ve always taken my baby girl to see Santa.
As we were standing in line, she whispered to me about the fact that she always got her picture taken with “her Santa.” She knew there were other Santas at other malls. That these couldn’t all be the real Santa. He must still be at the North Pole. I think she whispered because there were small ones about. She didn’t want to ruin the magic for them. I wonder if she even realized she whispered.
We stood in line… For almost an hour. She didn’t complain. She didn’t whine. She let me take her picture. She smiled at me when asked. She smiled at the babies in front of us and those behind us. She didn’t comment that she was one of the oldest kids in line. She didn’t fuss that she was tired. She let me put a bit of lipstick on her and comb her hair when it was close to her turn.
Then, she went and sat on the same Santa’s lap that she’s sat on every year of her life. She smiled prettily at my iPhone. She smiled prettily at the camera. She talked to Santa for a bit. And then she was done. Our turn was over in minutes, many fewer minutes than we had spent standing in line. Patiently standing in line.
She smiled at me as I paid for the pictures and held my hand as we walked through the mall. “Momma, I want to buy you a Christmas present this year,” she said. Little did she know that she’d already given me my most precious one.
And here it is (after a trip back to the mall to get it on the empty USB drive they gave me originally), the “official” Santa picture.