Christina Montoya Fiedler: To make myself feel better about the whole thing, I'm looking at this as a rite of passage for both me (as a mom) and my son, because who doesn't have one just like it in their family album?
Here's how it happened:
My son is still too young to know what Christmastime is all about, yet old enough to be enthralled with all things shiny and glittery. Last week, as we walked our local outdoor mall (the Grove in Los Angeles, Calif.), he nearly jumped out of his stroller at the first glimpse of Santa's Workshop. I mean, it really was magnificent in all its gingerbready, snow-topped, gumdropped glory. Even I oohed and aahed right along with him.
This happened every time we passed it, so I thought, "What's the harm in bringing him to see Santa if he seems to be so interested in his workshop?" Boy, was I wrong.
As I forced my screaming kid onto Santa's lap, a light went off in my head. I was going against everything I plan to teach him as he grows up:
Never, never talk to strangers.
Tell him what you want for Christmas!
Don't take candy from strangers!
Take that candy cane!
Call me for help if you are scared.
Wait it out so we can take this picture!
Ugh! That's twisted.
And to top it all off, we shoved money at the guy, whoever he was, so he could give us a celluloid remembrance of the tragic event. Wow.
Now my son has learned a new word: "Santa." He says it not so much as a declaration, but as a question (filled, no doubt, with fear): "Saaaannnta?"
Don't worry, kid. He scares me, too.
|Christina Montoya Fiedler resides in Los Angeles, Calif., with husband Andy and son Joseph. She juggles baby and work from home as a freelance publicist and attributes her strong love for life and sense of humor to her loving familia.|