Snakes, Santa and Tsuris

snakeLet me know if your week is going better than mine:

Last weekend, my 5 year-old (he’d say, no, Mom! I’m 5 and three quarters!) went to the mall with his friend and his friend’s father. The father, a very nice man who repeatedly disregards my requests that he not bring my son to the mall, brought my son to sit on Santa’s lap.

My dear son came home, hyped up on whatever sugary spaz juice the other kid’s dad gave him, yelling “Guess what, Mom? You were sooo wrong! There is such thing as Santa and he’s going to bring me a snake!”

Like any Jewish mother, I was tempted to quash the boy’s budding crush on Christmas by informing that not only is there no such person as Santa, but the crusty guy whose lap he sat on probably has cooties from all the snotty kids who were there before.

But I didn’t. I let it go, figuring Santa ain’t bringing no snake, no how, to my house, so I’m going to just breathe through this moment, one of many in which I will have help my son process being Jewish in this crazy Christian world.

Two days later, my husband came home from work with a shoe box. “Guess what I found in the bathroom at the gym?”

Oh no he di’int, you say. But, oh, he did. Scooped up some grass and sticks from the yard, dusted off the fishbowl from last year’s ill-fated tadpole farm and made the little snake a g*ddamn nest right on the kitchen table.

And my kid, who knows all five books of Moses and the aleph-bet, came home from the park, looked at the snake, rolled his sweet brown eyes towards heaven and whispered “Thank you, Santa!”

Now just what the f*n hell is a Jewish mother supposed to do?

And as if that weren’t enough: That very same night, someone left the plastic wrap off the top of the fishbowl and now the Santa snake is loose in the house.

Anybody have extra Valium out there?

*Illustration by Petra Matthews; it’s the cover of one of my kid’s favorite books, I Need A Snake by Lynne Jonell.

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