It was about this time last year that Andrew reached that age. He still wanted to believe in Santa, but pure practicality was winning out. He would ask me if I really believed in Santa and I would dance around the issue, giving him an answer worthy of the Republican debates—something along the lines of Christmas magic blah, blah, blah. It was not until a trusted teacher asked his class when they stopped believing in Santa that the jig was up.
It is not a secret that David has never been a fan of Santa. We had our first and sure to be last failed visit to Santa a few weeks ago and I was ready to drop the Santa issue altogether, but at school this time of year the talk is ALL Santa ALL the time.
I had a meeting with David’s speech teacher and she told me that the assignment had been to write a letter to Santa.
David sits at a table with two or three other kids and he often looks to these peers for direction, to be sure he is doing what he is supposed to be doing. So far, so good. Well, apparently David had no interest in completing the assignment so he actually copied the letter of one of his table mates.
He copied the letter, but added a David twist. It was upside down and backwards. Who knows what he was thinking, because he certainly won’t tell me.
Maybe, it was pure stubbornness, called “non-compliance” in autism circles. He does not like Santa and did not feel like wasting time writing to him.
Or maybe, just maybe it was a test--a secret code for Santa. Maybe he was thinking, okay, you may be merry and jolly with your twinkling eyes and your ho, ho, ho and all that, but let’s see how smart you really are. The real Santa should be able to crack this code.
Let’s hope the real Santa does crack the code because I have looked at the letter, held it up to a mirror and I have no idea what it says.
Maybe it is better that I don’t know.