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Sunday, December 12, 2004

Too Cool For Christmas

I knew it would happen one day, I mean, it was only a matter of time. Why was I so surprised? I remember going through this myself at some point. What the hell am I talking about? My son, Mr. Cool.

Yesterday was chop-down-a-tree-in-the-forest-day at the Lane household. If you read my post "Christmas Tree Tradition" you have an idea of how this tradition has gone in years past. It is the one part of Christmas that all of the Lanes thoroughly enjoyed, until now.

The twinkle in his eyes was just not there as I gently shoved him in Santa's direction. "Son, Santa won't know what you want if you don't tell him." I smiled.

With a roll of his eyes he whispered, "Come on Mom, this is gay."

Gay is no longer a sexually derogatory word. It doesn't mean happy either. Gay now means foolish, or if you're 12 years old, it means stooopid. Retarded also falls under the same definition nowadays. Mr. Cool has been keeping my hip to the jive.

"Santa's sexual preferences are none of our business," I whispered back. "Now go so they can take your picture."

Shoulders hunched, arms swinging angrily at his sides, he went. "Hi Santa," he said while approaching.

"Ho-ho-ho! Have a seat young man, and tell Santa what you would like for Christmas."

There was this look in Mr. Cool's eyes that screamed, "This is so gay! I can't believe I am sitting on this guy's lap!" But out of respect for me and the poor guy in the suit, he humored us.

"Santa, I would like a couple of model cars for my room."

The photographer, armed with a fancy Polaroid shouted, "Smile for the camera big boy!"

You could see him cringe, as the photographer's words echoed through the makeshift North Pole. In fact the cringe came out crystal clear in the picture.

Lane 2, my sweet little girl, was happy to hop up onto Santa's lap and rattle off her must have list. She told him her report card revealed all "A"s and said she would "Really appreciate it if my gifts could reflect my grades." Demanding little smarty pants, huh?

What happened to the sweet little boy who used to run up to Santa and say all of those cute things?

He wasn't just too cool for Santa, he walked to the sleigh ride with a strut only a proud peacock could appreciate. Clydesdales towed us through the forest, taking a dump every few feet. Mr. Cool pulled his coat over his face missing out on the scenic part of our tree tradition.

Armed with a saw, wagon and measuring stick, we then walked about seven miles, where we spotted it, the most perfect Christmas tree in the forest.

With a shrug of his shoulders, Mr. Cool said, "It's okay, I guess."

"Okay? It's the best darn tree in the whole wide world, and it's ours!" I proclaimed.

Lane 2 chimed in, "Yeah!"

It's Mr. Cool's job to cut down the tree and this was the only part of the tradition that he wasn't too cool for. Saw in hand, down on the ground, a quick back-and-forth motion and he was finished. Too big to struggle like he has in the past or maybe, he was too cool for a struggle.

I "accidentally" let the tree fall on him as the final cut sliced through the remaining trunk. Lane 2 and I quietly giggled and lifted the tree off of him. Hey, he was smiling! A real twinkely-eyed smile. Mr. Cool was having fun!

Our seven mile trek back was exhausting but we had the best tree in the forest. And Lane 2 and I were accompanied by the coolest 12 year old on the planet! Who could ask for anything more?