I’ve had a long day filled with fun and exciting things, yet I’m finding it impossible to sleep. Maybe it’s because I fell asleep on the couch for a little while before bedtime, or maybe it’s because of the incessant alarm my ADT box keeps sending out saying “trouble”. I know when the beeping starts a phone call from ADT will follow, so I guess I psyched myself out of sleeping waiting on the phone call and the next round of trouble alarms that will surely follow all night long. I finally had it out with ADT on the phone at 1:00 a.m., so a technician will be here in two weeks to look at the problem, again. Yes, two weeks, but the customer service lady assured me someone will call me within 24-48 hours to move that date up and send out a download to disable the trouble alarm. They will call later because I assured her I was not staying up 20 minutes to two hours longer to wait on their call this morning. Yet here I am awake anyway, washing clothes and complaining.
Usually when I can’t sleep I use my insomnia as an excuse to get up and write. But I can’t think of anything to write about. Christmas is only three days away. I guess I could write about that. I have been thinking about Santa a lot lately. I remember how much I loved waiting on Santa, but he scared me, too. The thought of waking up and seeing him sent enough fear through me to send me straight to bed to hide under the covers. I remember one year I heard him walking up to my crib.
Let me take a moment to explain something. I grew up in a four bedroom house with three brothers, three sisters, two parents, and a grandmother. The grandmother got her own room plus a sitting room, the parents got a room, the boys all shared a room, two sisters shared one room and my pesky sister somehow finagled the grandmother’s sitting room all to herself. That left me sleeping in a crib in my parents’ room for more years than any child should ever have to sleep in a crib. I mean, when you’re sitting up in your crib doing your homework something is wrong with the picture.
Anyway, as I was saying, one year I heard Santa walking slowly up to my bed (i.e. crib), the floorboards creaking ever so slightly under his feet. When he got to me he stopped and looked at me. I didn’t see him looking at me of course because I was frozen with fear with eyes shut tightly, but I could feel his gaze upon me. After a brief time I heard him slowly walk away and out of the room. I think I must have passed out then because I didn’t wake and pull down the railing until morning.
My mother was always up early on Christmas morning tending to the turkey. She would baby a turkey in the oven from the wee hours of the morning until it was time to eat. She would always ask me if I thought Santa came, always instilling just enough doubt in me to send my stomach into knots wondering if he did indeed come afterall. I couldn’t see into the living room to be sure if he came because of the sheet my father would have hung in the doorway the night before to keep us from peeking. And I never peeked. Truly, I did not. Despite that shade of doubt Santa always came. Always.
This year I will celebrate my 45th Christmas. When I go to bed on Christmas Eve I will have that same feeling I have had all of these 45 years waiting on Santa. I will lie in bed in anticipation of the footsteps I once heard so long ago. I will listen for the sleigh bells and the thump of reindeer hooves on the roof. And on Christmas morning I will ask my children if he came, even though they are teenagers and probably no longer believe he does come. But I do. I believe in Santa because my parents never, never ever till their dying day told me otherwise. And I heard his footsteps that night. I felt his loving gaze upon me. If that isn’t proof there is a Santa, then I don’t know what is.
The alarm has been quiet for awhile, the clothes are done washing, and I’m finally beginning to feel just a little bit sleepy. I guess I’ll turn the tree lights off and go to bed. I feel visions of sugarplums beginning to dance in my head.