This year is also a little bittersweet because I think it is probably the last year that Maggie is going to hang onto the idea of Santa Claus. She is eight years old, and she has relayed to us that kids at school have told her that he isn't real. Her logical response to the naysayers has always been that there is no way that her mom and dad could buy all the stuff that Santa leaves for them. Despite this confidence in Santa's deep pockets, I can see that she is starting to have some lingering doubts about the whole thing through questions she asks and looks she gives.
Her conviction to Santa is far stronger than her doubts this year - - as we were heading home from my parents' house tonight, she and Aleita were about ready to burst with excitement because they wanted to get home and get to bed so Santa could come. Maggie even commented that her stomach hurt a little bit because she was so excited about the thought of Santa coming. It is almost hard to remember what it was like to be that age - - do you recall hardly being able to go to sleep because you were so incredibly excited? Remember waking your parents up at 5AM to go see what Santa had left? I love that both of my kids have that bit of magic in their lives. However, I imagine that 2008 will mark the end of Maggie's belief in the big guy in the red suit with the flying reindeer.
It is at times like this when I realize just how fast she is growing up. You never notice the changes in your own kids day to day because you are there with them all the time. But, there are certain moments in their lives though when you look at them, and it's like, whoaa....how did we get here? When did you get so big? How did this happen? It seems like yesterday that we were bringing her home from the hospital on a bitterly cold November night...and yet, here we are, eight quick years later, almost ready to give up on Santa.
I'm so proud of the beautiful young lady that she is becoming, yet want to her to be my little girl just a little while longer. I love that she is becoming more responsible and able to do so many more things without my help, yet I dread the day when she will no longer need my help at all. I have heard people say that the older you get, the faster time seems to go. I am finding more and more just how true that is.
From Christmas past:
Maggie (age 3) & Dempsey (age 5) - taken in 2003
Maggie (age 4) & Aleita (9 months) - taken in 2004