Our annual tradition of taking Biscuit to see Santa while my parents are here for Thanksgiving continued again this year. But I was a little nervous the night before we went.
"Okay," I said to Biscuit. "Grandmama and I are going to go shopping tomorrow morning. Then about lunchtime, you, Dad and Papa will meet us for lunch and a visit with Santa. You do want to see Santa, right?"
I was surprised by his answer.
"Um, I don't think I want to go see Santa," Biscuit said.
Well, my mind flew back to last year when we had to talk with Biscuit about Santa and Santa's helpers. Remember this?
So my first thought was that he was freaked out about last year and didn't want to see Santa because of it.
"Why don't you want to see Santa?" I asked, pretty nervous about his response.
"Oh," Biscuit said. "I just haven't thought of what I want to ask him for."
Whew! I let my imagination go too wild!
I told Biscuit that all he had to do was to think of two things he wanted to ask for. That Santa is always good about engaging the kids, asking about what they like and don't like.
There wasn't a line, so we walked right in. The whole process is so fast, that last year, I didn't even hear what Biscuit asked Santa for.
So this year, I asked Mama to go stand near Santa and Biscuit to eavesdrop while I dealt with the photographer.
Mama told me that evening what he had asked for, but I did get distracted from the photographer when I heard Biscuit tell Santa, "And I can give you a hint about finding that one ..." Because clearly, Santa can't find toys on his own! And besides, don't the elves make all the toys?!
Throughout his seven years on this Earth, Biscuit has gone back and forth about liking to have his picture taken. He used to grab for the camera and ask me to take his picture. But now he's gotten really weird about it. He likes it when I take pictures of him in poses in costume. He liked the pictures I took of him playing baseball. He also liked me taking his picture at Tweetsie Railroad.
But if you look at those photos, you'll notice that he doesn't offer up a full smile. As he's lost his teeth, he won't smile big for pictures. He gives this little crooked half smile with no teeth showing.
I asked him about it, and all he said was, "I just don't like to show my teeth when I smile."
I don't push it because I don't want him to get upset about it, but I sure do miss his sweet, full smile!
Here he is on his visit with Santa.
And just as a side note ...
Last year, we saw this Santa a day before he was going out for medical leave. I wondered why he would work just a few days, then leave, but I figured he must've hurt himself. A back injury or something.
Well, it turns out that he had a really rare kind of cancer that they found by accident while they were checking out something else.
His cancer was so rare that the hospitals here in town wouldn't even touch him. They sent him to a big university hospital about an hour and a half away from here.
They had to take one of his kidneys, and he had to endure all kinds of radiation and treatments.
He said he was feeling really good now, and we were all glad to see him back and looking like the Santa we've loved for the past seven years.