One of the traps that parents much smarter than I know to avoid is the delaying of their obligatory yearly visit to Father Christmas until after the majority of gifts have already been purchased. An earlier mall pilgrimage greatly reduces not only the length of time spent waiting for a turn on the Jolly One’s lap, but also the chances that the list of wanted items conveyed to this Santa will be vastly different from the list that we’ve been working off of for the past several weeks.
Feeling pretty confident that my daughter’s requests wouldn’t vary much from the list that she handed me in early September, and not being one of those aforementioned smart parents, we only just completed this seasonal requirement this past week. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, it didn’t go exactly as planned. Mr. Kringle was under the weather, his replacement didn’t arrive until two and a half hours after we did, and instead of recommending a toy horse when my daughter asked for a real one, this back up Klaus told her that a robot horse would be much easier to clean up after.
I’m pretty sure that her Christmas morning expectations now involve a character from the Robot Unicorn Attack video game roaming our back yard.
Will she be disappointed by her lack of ridable, mechanical equines next week or did she become as frustrated as her father by the entire afternoon spent in the pursuit of a few halfway decent pictures?
Of course not. She’s six, and in a lot of ways six year olds are much smarter than their adult counterparts. Smarter, and therefore much happier much more often.
She made friends with every single person that was also there waiting, laughed her ass off at the ridiculous poses that she unnecessarily struck in 27 of the 30 pictures that I took, and decided that her favorite part of the whole day was dinner at Outback. She was allowed a small sundae for dessert and even more importantly, the promise of food and a trip to the mall brought her older sister along for our adventure.
Little kids know things, things that all too often we adults forget. They know how to find joy in little moments, to make the best of bad situations. They know how to enjoy the journey without worrying about the destination. They know that the most important and enjoyable part of the ride is quite often the people that accompany us on it.