Sarah was home sick today. That stomach virus AGAIN - the 3rd time this year. But she actually felt much better today after being sick all night, so we had a good day running errands and wrapping presents, and talking...
Sarah has had so many questions lately. Some that I'm just not ready for yet.
Sarah: "Mom, is there more than one Santa Claus?"
Me (stalling for time, squirming in my seat): "Why do you ask?"
S: "Well, in our pictures on Santa's lap, he doesn't look the same every year. Sometimes his beard was too short. I don't think the ones with the short beard are really him."
Me: "Santa is very busy, especially in December. So he has helpers that he trains, and sometimes it's Santa's helper when you get your picture taken."
S: "Then they're tricking us."
Me: "They're not trying to trick you. All of Santa's helpers have been trained by him, and they all talk to him every day to tell him who they saw. They're all magical because Santa shares his magic with them. And to keep it magical, you never know if it's the real Santa or one of his special helpers."
S: "Mom, do you have to pay for the presents that Santa brings us?"
Me: "Sometimes you have to pay for something, if he's bringing something that the elves can't make or something like that."
S: "Can you pay him so you can get more presents?"
And, at school, they're learning about Holidays Around the World. One of the teachers is teaching about Israel, and they've learned about Jewish people and Hanukkah. So today Sarah asked me what Jewish people are. At first I just tried to gloss over it by just telling her that Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah instead of Christmas, but the questions continued, and before I knew it, I was getting into a full discussion about Christians and Jews and Jesus as the Son of God. I'll admit that I was a little hesitant to get into this at such an early age, especially during the Christmas season. I mean, I'm telling her that Jewish people don't believe that Jesus is God's Son. And I don't want her to start questioning her religion the same way she's questioning Santa Claus. Not now, not yet! I know I'm overanalyzing, but I was very careful with my choice of words because she's only FIVE!!! I guided our discussion to people we know who are Jewish (well, OK, the one person she knows who is Jewish - Uncle Todd) - and she wanted to know why he sends Christmas presents when he doesn't celebrate Christmas. Man, this girl is THINKING! Later she asked me if Jewish people choose to be Jewish or if they're born that way. What a mature question!
If the questions are this hard at 5, I can't imagine what they'll be like in a few years. But I do hope they keep coming. I love that she's not afraid to ask.