Santa's steps?This time it wasn’t my fault. More so, I had no idea that it will happen today. There was no warning.

The day started with laziness in bed, snuggles and a big pile of pancakes. A pot of steaming strawberry sauce… memories of summer mornings drowned in fragrant berry smells and perky leaves holding sun and dew in green curled bellies.

Mouthfuls, butter melting, dripping sauce and sweetness, boys joking about all the inappropriate things again and again. This morning will hang in a corner of my soul, for no particular reason, but for the sweetness, the innocence and the roundness of it all.

The hills around have white dusted tops and countless thin trees, black and sleepy and fog-wrapped. Coffee on the porch, soft whispers to go with small sips. Find a place to take the boys. Where to, where to? A snowy lake? Is it snowy? Let’s try.

We drive the licked-clean road through snowy meadows and patches of trees… Do you hear the lone woodpecker? The sky is draping low and white. We park, boys roll out of the car in snow and make us promise snowball fights.

PathThin ice grows from the shores on the black surface of the lake. The path along the shores is padded with fresh-fallen snow and walking on it sounds like stepping on buried drums… muffled thick noises, branches droopy with snow, voices of boys running ahead and the distinct drum-roll of another lone woodpecker.

We walk around the lake, bumping chests halfway with the lake-dwelling dusk and making our way out of the woods as snow starts falling again.

A snowman perhaps? But the snow is powdery and stubborn, there’s no sticking. Snowman head and tummy crumble, we leave but two snow angels by the side of the road, taking our own with us. You need them when you drive through curtains of snowflakes, when you know you have to say thank you, again, for the simple beauty of new snow.

As snow-covered layers come off, Sasha’s big eyes turn and stare into mine.

Boy. Wonder“Mom, is Santa real?”

I stared back, I pondered, I listened to the voice that said “Be true” and pondered again. Will that take the magic away?

“What does your heart tell you?” This is how shy truth-teller me goes about it. I’m barely an inch tall.

“My heart says it’s not true.”

Truth-teller bows to child’s wisdom, eyelids drop in approval and then the promise snuggles in between our hearts “We can keep Santa with us though, magic and all…”

JoyYes we can. If new snow can sing to us every time, so will Santa and its wicked trail of make-believe. Truth and magic can live together if they’re done right.

So that’s how it all happened. Truth-teller honor.