Saturday, December 15, 2007

No Substitutes

My son has got Christmas fever :-) Someone was kind enough to give him a children's gift catalog which he has proceeded to memorize. Hardly a day goes by that he isn't clutching a store flyer and pointing to some new toy that he wants. An important job of mine is to manage expectations, so I've explained many times that no, he won't be getting everything he sees. And call me a party pooper, but I've already explained to him that Santa is as real as Spider Man. He was starting to get a little worried because we don't have a chimney ;-)

Like any four and a half year old boy, he loves to watch super heroes. He loves to dress up as super heroes, and he loves to read about them. For his birthday, someone gave him a big package of Spider Man stickers, and I'm still finding them stuck in the darnedest places. I'm glad he gets to exercise his imagination, and that he can differentiate well between this world and the imaginary world. Of course, he's hoping that super heroes play into his presents somehow this Christmas.

Tonight, about 40 minutes after I put him to bed, I walked past his bedroom and saw that the light was still on in his room. When I walked in to see how he was, he was sitting up smiling in his bed, and he put out his arms to get a hug. I sat on the edge of his bed and held him, sensing that he wanted to talk.

"Dad, will my wishes ever come true?"

"Well, what are your wishes? I know you want lots of toys, but you have lots already," I said.

"I wish super heroes and Santa could come alive. And I wish the Ninja Turtles would come alive."

I chuckled a bit. "Well, I can understand why you would like for that to happen. They are great stories, aren't they? And they are fun to watch on TV too."

"And I wish Inspector Gadget would come alive too!" And he proceeded to tell me about all the neat things Inspector Gadget can do and how neat it would be if he were here in person. I smiled and gave him a big hug.

"And Dad, I wish Mommy would come alive again too."

I've laid out many grief tools in the pages of this blog. But sometimes, there simply is no substitute for tears.

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