"I thought he was going to ask Santa for that video game he wants," one woman said to the other. "It was what we'd rehearsed that he'd say. But when he sat down the first thing he did was to ask Santa to help those children in Connecticut. I was stunned, frankly. Then he wanted to know if Santa was crying. I told him that Santa just had a little dust in his eye."
I imagine that particular Santa Claus had heard his fair share of wishes for fire trucks and dolls, video games and toys of all kinds; most reasonable requests. Standard operating procedure. Still...these are not standard times, are they? Life dictates that we digest tragedies gingerly but with all due haste. Because, in as much as it's an imperfect plan, life goes on. Holidays come along in spite of unexpected wishes whispered from the mouths of babes. Or from the hearts of mankind. Mornings arrive drenched in a misplaced sun, seemingly idyllic innocent hours following the very darkest of nights.
And so I pause momentarily to mourn, to lick invisible wounds, to wonder if Christmas will feel the same to children here and there. And to grown-ups everywhere - with dust in their eyes.