I ruined Caleb’s weekend morning. First I asked him to put away his laundry. (Accomplished, usually, by shoving the pile of clean, folded clothes on the chair into whatever drawer has room, a task that takes about forty seconds.) Then I asked him to pick up his soccer gear from the night before, which trailed across the apartment in the order they’d been discarded: cleats by the door, socks along the hall, shinguards on top of socks, shorts by the bathroom, jersey in the bedroom.

And then I had the nerve, the unmitigated gall to suggest that he might want to write his letter to Santa.

Caleb teeters on the verge of Santalessness.  He’s mentioned a few times, casually, that maybe there isn’t a Santa. His comments are always tossed off, indirect; it’s as if he throws the line out there waiting to see if he’ll get a response.  It may be my imagination, but I think he looks relieved when we tell him that Santa still comes to our house.  Maybe we’re each only pretending for the other’s sake, but you know? A little magic never hurts.

So in the throes of thinking that I am the worst mother ever,  Caleb wrote a letter to Santa.  Note the masterful attempt to make mommy Feel Bad:

Kid’s gonna be a novelist, I swear to god.

I told him Santa didn’t want such an angry letter and that Santa wasn’t a fan of Halo 4 (he’s not, trust me).  Caleb said fine I don’t care.  There may have been door slamming.

I waited.

Several hours later, letter number two appeared, delivered by my elven child, whose at-home wear consists of a t-shirt, black socks, and underpants.

Letter two, you’ll agree, offers more generosity of spirit:

I’ll have to check with the North Pole, but I’m thinking Santa can handle a bathrobe and Legos, and we’ll check around the workshop to see what other “random things” might be lying around. As for the XBox? Caleb’s going to have to take that up with the reindeer.