Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Santa Theorem

My alter ego is that of SAT preparation instructor. I know, it sounds soooo thrilling. People want to come see me almost as badly as a dentist. You know you gotta go, and it's good for you, but man, those nightmares...

I also tutor SAT math. Which is strange, because math was not my strongest subject. But I did adore Geometry. Some of my favorite problems to solve were proofs. I know! Yeeesh! But they made a lot more sense to me than some of the later math that I had to endure.

Turns out I've given birth to a child who has an aptitude for math. It's pleasing to know that "T" is good at it without being a tortured genius. Plus we have various discussions that seem to go beyond his years about things like civil engineering, magic, and why seagulls have claws. His logic is fun to hear and it leads to deep discussions between us. Then came this...

"Mom, is Santa real?"

"What do you think?" (I felt like a I needed a psychiatrist's couch for this one.)

"Well, I know that Santa is magic. And I know that magic isn't real. So does that mean that Santa isn't real?"

A proof! A proof that I must affirm or deny! At stake here was not just a correct test answer, or even a college entrance exam score... it was the beginning of the end of childhood for my oldest. I wavered, cringed, and then wimped out.

"Magic is an important part of our imagination, like in Harry Potter. It's wonderful to have an imagination! Would you like some more Cheerios?" Did I mention that he's easy to distract?

Please Santa, just one more Christmas before I have to prove that theorem.

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