A Great Miracle Happened Here / by Susie Lubell

I know many of you have been perched on your inbox for an update about the holiday pageant. So sorry to have left you hanging out here for the last two weeks wondering…did they sing? Did they cry? Pout? Shout? Flail on the ground in a heap of red and green holiday-wear? In fact both kids were outstanding. My daughter went first. She didn't notice me (that was intentional) so she just stood with everyone in the line wearing her reindeer headband and shaking her jingle bells to the music of Feliz Navidad. She looked a little perplexed but she didn't cry. She didn't sing either, but since she doesn't talk it wasn't a huge disappointment. Then there were some other classes and finally the PreK kids. I was a ball of nerves. I was also trying to hold my antsy daughter and videotape the whole thing which was kind of a pain in the ass. The kids walked out and found their tape to stand on. My son was looking around for me so I waved to get his attention - potentially my downfall. He started to try to get to me through a sea of parents but I shushed him back to his spot. He held it together. And then the music started and so did their first number - a little interpretive dance I think. Not sure. But there he was doing all the moves, looking left and right to be in sync with his classmates. He even cracked a smile. And then it was the big "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" number. That's when a star was born. He sang, he danced. He had a big smile. He was charming, careful to stay near his tape marker. A natural performer. And there I was mouthing the words like the freak stage mom that I am. Yikes. I didn't know I had it in me.

Then after the performance there was the opportunity to go have a picture with Santa which I wasn't super excited about - namely because of the long line but also because this is the first holiday season when I'm finally having to explain Christmas and Hanukah and why his cousins on both sides celebrate both holidays and we only celebrate Hanukah. But I decided I wasn't going to make a big deal about it so we stood in line and by the time we got to the front, my kids were too scared to sit with Santa. And then it turns out that Santa was the Jewish Venezuelan preschool owner's sixteen-year-old son. He threw out a few Hebrew phrases to gain my kids' trust but they were having none of it. Anyway, we left the place aglow with pageant pride, ever wary of Hebrew-speaking Santas…

Highlights from our week with family in Santa Fe up next…