Last night my girls had the pleasure of riding the Polar Express. This was a wonderful trip on a cold night with snow on the ground from the night before. We made it all the way to Santa's village at the North Pole thanks to a magic tunnel. The most magical part of the night came when Santa himself boarded the train to give gifts to the children aboard.
Now for a brief moment of back story...
Opa is one of the girls' grandfathers. He's also the "direct link" to Santa. See, Santa and Opa are best buddies. The girls call Opa around Christmastime so that they can talk to Santa. Opa figures out a time when Santa is passing through and they make it work out. This works out in all sorts of situations.
So now back to our story. Santa boards the train and is handing out special Polar Express jingle bells to everybody on board. He even takes a moment or two with each child. He truly is magical and wonderful this way, especially with such a large amount of children on the train that he is to visit.
As Santa approaches our seats, the girls light up, and Rylee says "Santa! Do you know my Opa, he..."
This is where my heart stops for a moment. I think the girls have been challenging our assertions that Santa and Opa are best buds. I also know that Santa here is busy, and he is probably unaware of this arrangement with Opa. How will he respond to such a question?!
Before Rylee can even finish her sentence, and without dropping a beat, Santa exclaims, "Why of COURSE I know your Opa! I've known him since he was this tall!" Santa proceeds to stoop down a little and indicate his height was even shorter than the girls.
At that point I had to make sure nobody saw the tears starting to well. Sure it was a little detail, but this LITTLE detail had been a HUGE one to the girls' for a while now and Santa didn't simply shrug it off or mildly affirm. He WAS best buds with Opa, for quite a while, and he made sure the girls knew that, all in the power of a few words.
I'm a firm believer in Santa, and I wager that this was the real deal on the train last night. If not, it was probably his #1 helper.
Merry Christmas all!