With each Christmas, I get a few more questions from my daughter about all the intricacies of Santa, his route and other details associated with delivering a few billion gifts worldwide.
I start to think back to my own time in second or third grade when one of my classmates (who I was convinced would later go on to be a brain surgeon or rocket scientist) announced to us during art class that it was systematically improbable that Santa could deliver gifts to every home, worldwide, in one night.
And just like that, I lost a little hope that day.
Addy shares with me her own tales of random boys making sweeping declarations about the myth and legend of Santa.
But she’s unwavering in her beliefs. And I love that. She knows who the “real” Santa in her eyes is. He walks downtown Lee’s Summit often, she gets to play elf to him each year, he knows her by name and he’s absolutely magical.
The holidays always bring with it a lot of shuffling for my daughter. Her resiliency never ceases to amaze me in this regard, too. During the Christmas break from school, she certainly gets her fill of grandparent time (on both sides), aunts and uncles and her cousins from California.
And since dad’s business has no real days off, Addy gets some extra time at the office with me as well. Sometimes that office is my literal building. Other times, it is the corner of Third and Douglas at 6 a.m. a few days before Christmas.
The night before, I told Addy she would wake up with me extra early to meet a TV news crew who was planning a story about the Boot Block that is coordinated each year with the men and women of the Lee’s Summit Fire Association Local 2195 and Lee’s Summit Social Services.
The early-morning TV live shots are part of the job. But for Addy, I think it turned into a little adventure. She sweetly asked if she could bring her “Teddy” to the shoot. And she did. It was chilly, but we warmed up with some coffee and hot chocolate from Neighborhood Café while the cameraman did his thing and the interviews went live.
In the quiet of the morning, Christmas lights surrounding us, Addy sitting on the steps of Llywelyn’s, holding her most loved possession, and asking me questions about the interview, how the live shot happens and other, random, very 8-year-old-topic, is something I will never forget.
A few days later, we woke up Christmas morning around 7 a.m. — after a night when she didn’t go to sleep for sure until after midnight — and tore into the gifts and stockings.
A few peanut-butter-bacon pancakes and some very drawn-out LOL doll opening later (my God, those things) and it was time to head to mom’s house.
It may be our last Christmas with the Santa twinkle in her eye. It may not be.
Either way, I hope she always races out of bed on Christmas morning. And still wants to go on work adventures with her dad.
Editor's Note: John Beaudoin is a Lee's Summit resident and award winning writer and former newspaper publisher in the Lee's Summit community. Views and opinions expressed in his columns do not necessarily reflect those of Link 2 Lee's Summit, it's employees or any other guest contributors.