It started innocently enough. The first Christmas catalog unceremoniously landed on the floor through the mail slot just days after my animal-loving child learned about Noah and his ark. I don’t know what caused him to make the association, but he didn’t state it questioningly or even hesitantly.
Pointing to the cover photo of Santa, in his finest red suit and full regalia, Aryeh said, “Hey Mommy, there’s Noach.”
Never a fan of bursting the bubble of innocence, I just smiled, thinking it would blow over. And no, this story will not end with us following the mistaken identity to a mall photo on Santa’s lap. But on that afternoon, with Santa on the cover of a glossy gift catalog, Aryeh was certain.
The reindeer only reinforced his certainty.
“Look, there’s some of the animals from the Tayva.”
The toys in the catalog were for Noach’s children. The clothing were for his wife and kids. The food was since they couldn’t go shopping what with the flooding and all. Nothing could put a damper on his certainty. Not one item in the catalog went without explanation of why it was needed in an ark of animals and people separated from the world by endless chasms of water.
But back to our Christmas story.
We avoided Santa at all costs, not wanting to feed the fantasy any more than we wanted to elucidate it. When he saw a Santa balloon and shouted, “There’s Noach!,” we just smiled. When he gravitated toward the center of the mall Santa set up, we kept him in the back, near the reindeer, sleigh and gifts.
But things came to a head yesterday when my husband took the two boys to Barnes & Noble. He got them each a drink, and then of course they wanted cookies.
Pointing at one, and then another, Aryeh demanded, “Is that one Kosher?” “How about that one?”
Disappointed at his lack of Options (Aryeh lives for options), he pointed to a three inch high, chocolate covered, full-bellied, widely grinning Santa cookie, and demanded, “Well, is Noach kosher?”
Try explaining that one in Sunday school.