Even though there is no snow, it’s finally beginning to look a lot like Christmas. My lovely and vivacious wife and I have put up our tree and decked our hall, and I am settling into that tingly feeling of pre-Noel anticipation. I’ve even received one of my gifts early: a Dyson roller-ball vacuum cleaner. It’s quite possibly the greatest gift I have ever been given.
But recently it occurred to me: by this time next year, we will have a 10 month old. That’s a sobering realization. And then I recalled hearing that there were the three stages of a man’s life:
1. He believes in Santa Clause
2. He doesn’t believe in Santa Clause
3. He is Santa Clause
Next Christmas, I become Santa Clause. This is the last Christmas where I get to be the kid. That thought panicked me at first. The pregnancy is an amazing and wonderful experience, an actual real-life miracle. And most days I’m excited. Most days.
But now I think: maybe it’s okay. It’s exciting, really. I haven’t played with toys for years, yet as I stroll down store aisles I’m actually jealous about how many awesome toys are available. Also, there are a myriad of things adorned with cartoon monkeys that I can buy. Because who doesn’t like monkeys? (Seriously, when I was a kid, if you had given me all the cheese I could eat and a pet monkey, I would have been the happiest child in the history of the world.)
And the books! The children’s section of Barnes & Noble has been a crazy trip down memory lane, as I become reacquainted with old friends: Harold, Frog & Toad, Alexander (the jerk who’s having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day). Remember those? Remember Corduroy and the Velveteen Rabbit?
I got a vacuum cleaner for Christmas this year, and I thought it was the greatest thing ever. When did I become that guy? This isn’t the last year that I get to be the kid; instead, this is the last year I’ll go through Christmas without experiencing it through my child’s joyful eyes.
I’m really going to enjoy becoming Santa. I can’t wait to meet my son, and watch him as he experiences for the first time the things I loved as a child.