Santa Claus was present, his fenced-off courtyard decked with trees and lights, music jingling and lap ready. Being a Tuesday afternoon on a school day, and almost 6 weeks before freaking Christmas, there were no kids, so Santa was texting on his throne and the elves were chatting behind the ginormous cardboard sleigh. The Boy pointed straight at him, and announced to me "Dad, I thought he wasn't real? He's right there!" After a moment's contemplation before I could respond, he added resignedly, "oh, nevermind, that's just a man in a Halloween costume. Santa's not real." I'm almost positive I heard Santa chuckle as he quickly tucked his smartphone under a leg, realizing there was a kid in the mall. One of the helper elves on the other hand looked at me like I was the one that told an (almost) 5 year old that Santa wasn't real. I stared back. She looked down. We walked toward the puppies.
I'm dreading the letter from his pre-school teacher that asks us to stop The Boy from debunking Santa.