Just recently I saw a social media post that struck me as oh-so-true. It dealt with the "four stages of life":
1. You believe in Santa.
2. You don't believe in Santa.
3. You are Santa.
4. You look like Santa.
I'm sure the post was meant to be humorous, but it is also accurate. I'm pretty sure most parents would agree.
Think back to the time of year when you were just a youngster. Personally, I could not wait to go to bed on Christmas Eve because I knew the sooner I went to sleep, the sooner I would wake up to all of those marvelous presents under the family Christmas tree.
At some point, I figured out, however, Santa got a lot of help from Mom and Dad -- and Christmas was never quite the same. Some of the magic, some of the spark, had gone.
It also was at this point the presents started to change. Instead of all of those toys and games, there were more and more sweaters, socks, shirts and underwear. And while those sweaters, socks, shirts and underwear were necessities and greatly appreciated, the excitement factor seemed far less.
The magic of those Christmas gifts returned when Geoff and Kaysi came along. I got to experience the excitement in their eyes when Geoff unwrapped his first toy soldiers and Kaysi her first Barbie doll. It was at that time when I realized how wonderful my own parents must have felt watching me at that age.
And when Geoff and Kaysi eventually came to grips with the truth about Santa, I knew exactly how they felt. I think that falls into that circle of life thing everyone talks about.
As far as No. 4 is concerned, that actually dawned on me just the other day when I looked in the mirror. Where did all of the white hair come from? I looked in the mirror, and Santa Claus was looking back at me.
Back to that circle of life thing.
This will be the first Christmas for the newest member of our family, young Maddie Jane, Kaysi's first child who is just now walking and starting to put together her first words.
The "Jane" part of Maddie Jane is a tribute to one of Kaysi's grandmas, who always made Christmas a special time for her grandkids. Grandma passed away about a year ago at this time, but her memory will always be strong, especially when the holidays roll around.
Maddie is still a few years away from beginning to realize the early part of those "four stages of life." But when she enters those Santa years, I plan on sitting her on my lap and telling her about all of the wonderful memories that she, too, will have someday.