Wednesday, November 08, 2006

destination: north pole

Sage wrote and drew a story for Santa Claus. It began as a list of things she wanted for Christmas, written down on a scrap piece of paper. Later, I saw her looking at the paper in her hand, shaking her head.

"What's wrong, honey," I asked.

"It's not pretty at all," Sage replied.

"It's a list," I told her. "Lists are just, you know, lists of things. It's fine, he'll read it and understand."

"Dad," she said, holding up her list. "Don't you think Santa would rather have a book?"

"A book?"

"Yes," she smiled. "A story. Then I can add my list at the end."

"Well, that is clever. And I would rather read a story, if I were Santa."

She brought out colored paper, glitter, glue, markers, crayons and her pair of scissors. Soon, her brow was furrowed in concentration, in the act of creation, and I could not help but smile... and offer my daughter my expertise.

"Let me see what you've written," I told Sage, reaching for her papers.

"Dad," she said, fixing me with a stare. "I'm not finished."


So of course I read over her shoulder. I saw the words of her story lovingly illustrated with drawings and colored with all the brilliance eight markers could muster. She began by introducing herself to Santa and went on to the nested story (I'm delighted at her use of a framework literary technique!) about a little girl.

"You can help with the glitter, Dad," she told me, putting some of the sparkly red stuff in the palm of my hand.

"I hate glitter," I whispered sotto voce.

"But I know Santa loves them," she answered, also furtively. "They're red."

The next day, I took her to the Ortigas Post Office and Sage told the lady at the stamps counter that she wanted to send a letter to Santa at the North Pole.

The lady looked at me. "U.S.A.?"

For a moment, I wanted to tell her, no, the North Pole is not in America, but then remembered that there was actually a North Pole, USA, and that what mattered was that we mailed Sage's letter, and that Santa knew her intentions.

"Yes," I said.

"Twenty six pesos," she said, affixing a stamp to Sage's envelope.

"Thank you," Sage told her.

"You're welcome," the lady told her. Then, with a wink: "I'll make sure Santa gets it."

Outside, Sage turns to me with a big smile. "Dad, the post office is so cool!"


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