Maggie Makes Four!

This journal started off documenting the adoption of our youngest daughter. It now follows the twist and turns of our lives as we raise these two amazing little creatures into the best women they can become.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

One Long Car Ride

For some reason, I'm having lots of bloggable moments this week.  To the best of my recollection, this is a conversation between me and La Nina.  I was trapped in the van with her enroute to a play date.   Remember she's 6 so I'm trying to answer in terms she'll understand.  

La Nina:  Do Jewish people believe in Santa Claus?  
Me (my head snapped up so fast I got a kink in my neck):  Well, no.  Santa is part of Christmas and Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah.  
La Nina:  So, does he bring them presents if they're good?  
Me:  Well, no.  See he brings Christmas presents.  Jewish kids get gifts every night when they light candles.  (Thinking:  I hope that's right.  She's bound to track down a Jewish friend and check my information.)  
La NIna:  But the song says, "Every good girl and boy".  So, that means not Jewish kids.  
Me:  Well, Christmas is a Christian Holiday.  It's Jesus' birthday.  So, only Christians celebrate it.  Lots of people don't celebrate Christmas, so it's hard for Santa to visit them. 
La Nina:  Isn't Friend S Jewish?  
Me:  Yes (Rubbing my temple with one hand while driving...'cuz I'm afraid where she's going to take this.)  
La Nina:  But they have a Christmas tree.  
Me:  His Daddy is Catholic.  His Mommy is Jewish so they celebrate both.  
La Nina:  So, he gets gifts everyday and on Christmas.  
Me:  Yes, I think that's how their family does it.  

The conversation continued for several more minutes with La Nina listing friends and asking about their holiday traditions.  In some cases, I knew and in others I didn't.  By the time we arrived at her play date, I was exhausted from the strain of carefully choosing my words.  As she trotted into her friends house, her friend's mom came out to discuss play date details.  I whined about the questions.  My friend laughed and said, "At least she didn't throw Kawanza at you. I had to look that one up on line."  I guess she's right. 

What's amazing to me is that at six, La Nina is aware that different people celebrate different holidays.  I think I was 11 or 12 before I figured out some people don't celebrate Christmas.  And it's good that she understands the cultural differences of people, but from a parenting perspective, it's harder.  It exposes the myths of Christmas so much earlier and tests my knowledge not only of other traditions, but of my own.   I hope I passed today's test.  I'm planning to get a good night's sleep tonight, so I can be rested for tomorrows. 


  • At 6:03 AM , Blogger Johnny said...

    Great post. We dance along the line (without much of a clue) like that often.


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