This past year of 2016 has been rough, wacky and surreal. Sometimes all three at once. Actually, almost always all three at once. Its been so odd, that I feel there must be 100 more adjectives one can use to describe this year. Is 2016, the year where the curse of the Billy Goat ends and the Cubs actually win the World Series? What will happen if the curse is lifted? What’s next, is all I can ask. 2016 has been too wacky for a curse to just be lifted and have nothing replace it. Or am I overthinking this? As an aside, did you know that last year competitive eaters engaged in a goat meat eating event in order to stop the curse this year? The things we do to keep a world of fantasy around us. I understand this very well.
But let me backtrack just a little so that my story makes sense….
On the personal front, just last night, a man was murdered in the apartment building on our corner here in Los Angeles. I grew up in the South Bronx and thus murders are sadly not a new occurrence for me to experience in my neighborhood. The thing is that now I am a mom. My son wondered why there were so many cops with assault rifles in our street. Just a few weeks back, our block had been sectioned off when a suspicious package was left at the nearby metro station. He asked about that as well. Everyday when he walks to school, he passes several homeless people that are camped out in the area near his school. He has come to readily recognize one of them and doesn’t really think twice about passing by the man. If we continue to stay in Los Angeles, he will grow up to be a strong man who has seen much in life. If we go back to New York, I assume the same can be said.
This past summer, we went to South Africa and had a long layover in Istanbul. We finally got on the plane and soon thereafter the attempted coup occurred in Turkey. We watched that news on the television in South Africa and my son asked if we would be able to get back home. We reassured him that we would. While in South Africa, we also watched on the international news snippets about some terrorists attacks that had just occurred. He asked about the killings and what it meant for our safety. He slept badly with recurring nightmares. We had to put a stop to watching the news when we were in South Africa.
However, we love watching the news and want our son to be informed as to what is going on in the world. We then tried to get him to watch some of the US presidential election coverage but because it has sunk to a level of discourse we don’t need him exposed to, we have not encouraged him to watch the election coverage. He is only eight years old after all. He won’t be voting anytime soon. Although, he knows very well who the Presidential candidates are and who we are rooting for.
With all this going on in the world on a daily (even minute) basis, I need a special happy place for my son. I need something magical, beautiful, and loving for him to be part of and believe in. I admit that I might need it more than he does. I imagine Cub fans need that curse to be finally lifted so that they can be free to believe again. This is why, I still encourage my son to believe in Santa Claus. My niece stopped believing in Santa Claus by age 5. I hope that maybe I can get two more years of this fairy tale magic. We still bake cookies and leave milk for Santa Claus. He still worries that if we go on vacation during Christmas time, Santa will not find him. We always assure him that we have texted Santa where it is that we will be. The best part of this all is that it is still sweet and innocent. Out holiday celebration is filled with joy, laughs and love. I always open my presents last because I just want to see his face every time he opens a present and screams out loud “Yes! Thank you Santa.”
So, for another year my son will continue to believe in Santa Claus. And may the curse of the Billy Goat finally be lifted. As a New Yorker in Los Angeles, I’m just rooting for the fairy tale ending.