Eric and I spent most of November with our eyes peeled for the buck deer she asked for instead. Just a small one, was the explanation. One that can play a good Grown-Up Bambi. It didn't sound like an unreasonable gift. It took a little bit of leg work, but we found something that would work. And then,
"I don't really need a buck deer. I really need a unicorn. A pink one. With orange hair. The one at Toys R Us."
My heart broke a little, realizing she had probably seen Eric and I scrambling a little to find the buck, and it seemed, at first, like she just wanted to make it easy on us. She practically told us what aisle to find it in.
But when Eric went looking for it at Toys R Us, he came back empty-handed. "Wasn't there," he said. We searched the internet, and saw the one she was talking about. Animal Alley, pink, with orange hair. We also saw that it had been discontinued. Ebay sellers have it, but the shipping timing is iffy at best.
"How about a white unicorn?"
"Pink. With orange hair."
"The toy store doesn't make that one anymore."
"I know. But Santa can make it."
And that's when I realized, we're going to need a bigger boat.
Lennon is a smart kid, and if we start with the excuses for Santa, it's only a matter of time, before she puts it all together. Good sense tells me that she'll be fine not getting exactly what she asked for. A lavender unicorn is a great gift. Maybe Santa is color blind? Or maybe he saw the elves about to make her a pink one with orange hair, and then he saw this lavender one, sitting on a high shelf, without a home, and he knew Lennon would take good care of her. He made a command decision. Santas have to do that sometimes.
Still, it's hard when your kids don't ask for much, and you still can't deliver. And it's really hard seeing her have so much faith in unicorns and magic gift-giving elves, knowing that part of our jobs as parents is to gently ease her into reality, without denying her the innocence of childhood dreams.
I don't know. I guess part of me is hoping Santa is real, too, and Christmas morning, Pink with Orange Hair is sitting under the tree. Or maybe a real unicorn could be there, just to make up for all the undue stress.
Easing into reality sucks.