Before we left the house for Bass Pro Shops to see Santa yesterday, I asked Elliott if he was going to sit on the big man's lap this year. I told him it would be nice in my old age to have in my possession at least one photo of him in the classic childhood shot of child and Santa. I don't care to think about being the only one in the nursing home without one. He informed me I was wrong, that he had sat on Santa's lap before, and I must have missed my opportunity to capture it. And I told him standing close enough to Santa so it appeared their elbows possibly grazed one another during the session wasn't what I had in mind. In his mind, though, the conversation was immaterial. He was going to sit on Santa's lap.
We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived and found no line to stand in. Last year we waited the better part of December with two boys who said they wanted to sit on Santa's lap; and one of them actually did. For some reason, Ian has never had much issue with the man behind the long white beard and the exagerated, fluffy cuffs. We've never really played up the whole naughty or nice thing, but I think someone else must have shared Santa's role in Christmas a little more in depth with Ian along the way and he's been appropriately motivated since to leave Santa with a good last impression. But not Elliott.
To my knowledge, Elliott has never befriended anything in a costume. Not the Peanuts characters at Kings Dominion, the Dead Presidents at the Washington Nationals game, or anything remotely connected to Halloween.
But Elliott turns 7 tomorrow. So maybe with age comes bravery. Or maybe he's coming to understand that everything in a costume isn't all it's made up to be. Anyway, some things do change. See for yourself:
The boys on Santa's lap 2012 - one of them wasn't close enough to fit into the picture.
The boys on Santa's lap 2013 - and then there were two.