I was on my way home from my son's little soccer class tonight when we passed a house shining with the soft glow of the season. And lit up on the side of the house was the word "Believe."
Around this time of year belief plays a large role in movies and books—whether it surrounds believing in Santa Clause or faith—and in our interactions with our children as we strive to create one more magical Christmas where it's plausible an Elf sitting on your shelf truly flies or that Santa is truly watching.
My son has a logical little mind, and there's a part of me that thinks this might be his last Christmas believing. He asks questions and points out implausibilities on a regular basis. When asked if he thinks magic exists, he'll usually answer in the negative. But he is buying the Elf on the Shelf bit this year, at least I think he is. There's also the chance he's just playing along with Mommy's madness.
Belief recently played a role in an interaction I had with him at bed time, but this one was a little different than Santa Clause and elves. I was folding laundry while he ran around the upstairs giggling insanely as small children do when he came up to me with a blanket wrapped around his head like a bonnet and said in a high-pitched voice, "Hi, I'm Amy." I laughed and played along, although I had been surprised by his choice of names since I didn't know of anyone with the name Amy that he might know. Of course, there could be someone at school with the name, or maybe he'd heard it on TV, so I shrugged off my wonder.
A little later, after we'd read a story and had laid down to talk for a few moments before I left him for sleep, he said in the same high-pitched voice, "I'm still Amy." So I said, "Can I have [Son's name] back now?"
And his response was the catalyst for the next few minutes when he said, "[Son's name] isn't here right now."
Now, there must be at least a dozen creepy movies where a child is possessed and says something along the lines of what he had said. Of course, I just laughed and told him he was silly. He then turned to the side, whispered something, and turned to look at me announcing he was himself again with a thrilled little grin. But then he continued to turn to his side every minute or so and whisper to his new friend, "Amy." So I asked more about her, and he explained she comes from the mirror, and when I asked if she was invisible, he said, "no, she's like a ghost." He then told me she would come back through other people. Umm, like possession? I thought, feeling my skin crawl as my son wove his tale.
I have to say, that despite my rational nature and my intact skepticism, there's still a part of me that for a split second thought he was possibly talking to a ghost. I mean, I am a writer after all. Our imaginations some times get the better of us. Plus, he'd been talking about the "people in the mirror" since he was three.
Of course, I was home alone and I texted my husband our creepy little conversation, which he found hilarious. The next morning my husband asked my son about "Amy" and once again he started talking in a high-pitched voice. Then my husband took on the moniker of Christine and the two of them pranced around the family room talking like girls. It made for great entertainment while I sipped my coffee and laughed. I of course should have just asked my silly little creative boy if he was playing pretend or if he thought what he was saying was real. Because his answer the next morning was, pretend, of course! Sillier mommy.
Although only four, my son has inspired a story idea or two, something about the People in the Mirror. I feel a Middle-Grade novel in my blood, but it's still brewing alongside the developing mind of my growing son.
I DO believe that magic can exist in even the skeptic, as long as creativity is allowed to grow. So although my son may not believe in Santa Clause next year, or maybe he will, who knows, I know his imagination isn't lacking in magic.
It's been a crazy month, one in which I've found little time to blog. And obviously, I haven't. But I wanted to share some general life stuff and news from the past month. First off, happy holidays to all of you out there! We had a fun day fighting off invaders as they tried to breach the walls of Eagle Talon Castle. My son and I were working hard on keeping my husband and his crew of knights plus one ogre out when we realized we were as much into the battle as our son was. It was also fun for me because, hey, fantasy. And of course, I write fantasy. Lot's of fun ways to spurn my son's imagination.
In my last blog post, much too long ago, I talked about my son wanting a dollhouse for Christmas and gender roles. Let me tell you a story about a man I am currently referring to as "Douchebag Santa." My son's school had a little holiday party recently, featuring none other than Santa as the guest of honor. When my son finally got his turn to sit on Douchebag Santa's lap, Santa asked my son what he wanted for Christmas. When my son answered, "a doll house," he screwed up his face as if he couldn't quite understand what he was saying. So I helped him out.
"He said a dollhouse," I said with a smile.
"That's what I thought he said . . . Are you going to put soldiers into the dollhouse?" Douchebag Santa asked, turning to my son.
My son, grinning away and fortunately too young to catch the full ridiculousness behind Douchebag Santa's words, just grinned and nodded his head.
Then Douchebag Santa, laughing with his stomach like a bowl full of . . . I'm just going to stop right there and move on, said, "Are you going to ask for an Easy Bake Oven next?"
Now, I'm not usually one to publicly air my grievances. But I'll cross that self-imposed line when someone is obnoxiously ignorant in regards to my child. So I stand by my nickname. Douchebag Santa needs another line of work.
As for the dollhouse. I looked online but it's hard to find ones that are gender neutral or as cool as they had them back in my day. So I went on Ebay and won one of those vintage Fisher Price Little People houses many of parents my age may have had back in the day. It was beaten up a bit, but solid enough that I could work with it. My sister has an artistic flair, so she came over and the two of us spruced it up. We didn't have enough of the same kind of blue, so it's different tones of blues on different sides, which I actually like better. I have to say, I'm in love with how unique and beautiful it is. It's not perfect, but it's from the heart and my son's eyes grew wide when he asked if it was his this Christmas morning. Slideshow below!
K.M. Randall writes fantasy and paranormal for both a general and young adult audience. Her debut novel, an epic fantasy called Fractured Dream, launched in June 2014, and her second book, The Reaper's Daughter, launched May 2015. Randall also published Fairytale Lost, a prequel to Fractured Dream, as an exclusive on Wattpad. She blogs about dreams, female heroines, and activism and its relevancy to the literary and fictional world. And when in the season, sometimes she just likes to talk about Halloween. She is currently hard at work on the second book in the Dreamer Saga series, Shattered World.