Our oldest hadn’t been in first grade for more than, what, a mere 2 or 3 weeks, when I am sitting at the end of our road waiting for the bus to arrive to plop G man back into our laps for a night of screaming, running, full-blown boy action. Miss Jennifer drives up to the stop, talks a bit to Big G as he’s getting off the bus (he’s our talker) and then, as he’s jumping down the steps, immediately turns to me and motions for me to come to the window.
“Oh? What did the kid say to him?”
“Well, he told him Santa Claus is phony. I talked to him. Told him, ‘That’s a first grader you are talking to!’”
“This is happening already??” I asked.
“I’m sorry, yeah. But he held his own.”
I thanked her and we were on our way home.
I had in my hand a catalog with Halloween costumes in it, because I knew he’d be thrilled it came in the mail. He looked at it the whole walk home, pointing out which one on each page he was going to buy.
I asked him how his day was and got the usual: “Fine.”
Then I told him Miss Jennifer said some older kid was not being very nice on the bus. I asked him if that was true and what had happened.
He told me this:
“Yeah, some kid was telling me Santa Claus is phony and that I shouldn’t believe that he’s real. He told me he’s getting a new PS2 for Christmas, but not from Santa. I told him, ‘Santa’s gonna bring you coal if you don’t believe he’s real.’”
End of discussion.
Whew. Narrow miss.
That day, I thought maybe it was wise to start driving him to school every single day. But, since I’m already at work at 7 a.m., that’s too cruel to do to my husband, I suppose. But geez.
Christmas came and went with a few questions about how Santa gets here and there, but everything went fairly smoothly. I don’t think he honestly took much from Mr. Meanie-Pants Fifth Grader. I’m glad. Heck, I’m absolutely relieved.
Seems a bit too early to grow up just yet.