Terrified No More
You all don't even know how AMAZING it to have this picture to put on our blog. A simple picture with Santa? No way. No how.
This little girl we call Eve, or occasionally "Miss Thing" is terrified (in every sense of that word) of any costumed person. Terrified to the point of shaking, crying, hiding her face, completely panic-stricken. She's always been this way. And tonight was no different.
She understood that one of our intentions for the evening was to see Santa Claus. And she was fine with this fact until we actually saw him and made a move to talk with him. Then she lost it. Completely. Daniel and I talked to her, we explained, we comforted - nothing doing. As we started to leave it hit me. We were allowing her to be afraid and it needed to stop.
There is a time and a place for us to indulge her fears- to an extent. For us, as her parents, to be understanding with the fact that she's not going to be alright with certain aspects of life. But, in this instance, she needed to face her fear head on. It was Santa for goodness sake. We explained to her that we were going to take her into the store, that she needed to look Santa in his eyes, say "hi" - to have a polite conversation, then we would go.
It was amazing to watch the transformation of her countenance as she realized he was a really nice man. And most certainly not one to be feared. It helped immensely that he gave her a pencil, a lollipop and a coloring book. These items are serious currency in Eve's world.
When we took a break from the encounter to retrieve the new pajamas we had brought for the donation box next to Santa, I explained to her that after we returned I was going to take a picture of her sitting on Santa's lap. And she did amazing. A little stiff perhaps, but she tried to smile, she really tried. And I was so proud. So proud of her courage.

Judah was a little more skeptical of this big guy in the red suit. He wasn't real sure what to make of him. But, if his "Ce-Ce" was okay sitting on Santa's lap then he was going to be too.

He lit right up when Santa asked him what he wanted for Christmas. Apparently he wants "Fwosty!". Eve answered that same question with "a Rudolph the red nosed reindeer toy". Doable, don't you think!

In the end, I am thrilled that Eve experienced the opportunity to respond to Santa's question. It was worth the frigid 15 degrees, the tears, and the difficulty in making her do something she was so afraid of. Simply to see her face when it was all said and done.
Eve is terrified no more!
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