The Tale of the Magical Infection

The week before Thanksgiving is a particular challenge for a teacher. There is always way too much to do in too short a time. The students are not motivated to learn anything new and have been trained over the years to expect a Disney movie in every class the day before break begins. Secretly, the teachers are equally as motivated and want just as badly to plug in Finding Nemo for the 8 millionth time in their career. But no. The work must be done.
Except for today when one class got so far off topic talking abut Christmas, and it was so funny, that I just went with it. I now know exactly how and when all my students stopped believing in Santa. Some stories were incredibly sweet and some were less so. Such as the dad that told his 4 year old he killed Santa for breaking into their home. But most of the talk just made me want to do even better to make the holiday as magic filled as it can be. Because I watched a room full of 15 year olds light up and turn soft-hearted discussing exactly how their families celebrated the holidays. The goofier the tradition the better, it seems.
I did share my story of why I believed in Santa a bit longer than the average kid. I think it’s worth a mention here. First of all, my brother. He kindly pretended to believe so that I would. He never broke character either, so even when I questioned he wouldn’t let on. This is saying something for the boy who told me I was too old to not be shaving my legs at the end of the sixth grade. He told me he didn’t want to have a monkey for a sister. I can only assume one of his friends said I looked like a monkey because I can’t imagine 16 yr old Dan noticing that for himself. Anyway, the point is, subtlety was not his strong suit. The other big thing for me and Santa came at age five. To understand this story you need to know two things. One, I adored my Aunt and Uncle and saw them pretty much every week or more. Two, my uncle played Santa Claus for the children’s hospital. Now we have the pertinent info. So my appendix ruptured. A lot. And I was very small. So this turned into a multi-surgery, multi-day situation. It was also right before Christmas. One day I heard a jingling in the hall. My five year old brain pretty much exploded in excitement. Santa was COMING! Please keep in mind that I was probably pretty heavily drugged. I had a gaping wound on my stomach after all. So Santa came to see me. He knew ALL about me! He gave me a music box in the shape of a piano! It had my NAME engraved on the front! This guy was legit! It made total sense to me that if you got really sick right before Christmas that the real Santa would come hang out with you.
That’s right. The real Santa.
Because we are all grown ups in the future I know I need not explain that this was my beloved Uncle. What I might need to explain is that I was about 21 years old before I finally connected those dots. Cuz I’m quick like that.
And no, I did not believe in Santa until either the age of 11 or 21. It was before either of those ages. Not that I’m going to tell you just HOW much before.

One thought on “The Tale of the Magical Infection

  1. Well, you know me and that Santa thing don’t exactly giha, but I loved your story. I can almost imagine you at 5 in the hospital all abeam looking at Santa.

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