It was Christmas and the little girl was sick. Sick enough to warrant a doctor’s visit on Christmas eve day. The four year old had strep throat and was running a high fever despite the medicine her mom had given her an hour ago. She was lying on the couch with her head on her oldest sisters lap, under a warm quilt, waiting. Waiting on Santa.
The little girl’s family never waited until Christmas morning to open the presents Santa brought. Why wait when Santa came early to their house on Christmas eve? Santa always arrived around eight o’clock. You can be sure that the little girl and her siblings had to be on their best behavior and have all their old toys picked up in order for Santa to show up. Fighting with each other was never allowed in the family, especially on Christmas eve.
This particular Christmas, the little girl’s mother was the one who heard Santa’s sleigh outside. The children’s daddy ushered the kids into the kitchen. They couldn’t take the risk of seeing Santa and making him mad enough to not deliver their presents! All went into the kitchen except the little girl and her oldest sister who was still nursing the little girl’s head in her lap on the couch and their mother. The little girl was had such a high fever, and the medicine was making her sleepy but frightful. In and out of sleep she drifted, she hardly noticed her sister’s hand rubbing her hair back out of her eyes, or the sounds of excitement in the kitchen. Her mother came over and touched her forehead and kissed her on the head. Her mother looked especially pretty that night. She had on a bright red dress with a full skirt. Her dark hair and gray eyes were matched with ruby red lipstick. The outfit was completed with a pair of patent leather black pumps.
The little girl’s mother went upstairs to let Santa in through the one of the bedroom windows. The little girl listened to her mother’s heels clicking up the steps. She felt so bad, she couldn’t help but close her eyes in restless sleep, only to awaken just as suddenly. Over and over, she drifted asleep and awakened, and back again.
Now, right over the couch, in the ceiling, was a large heat vent. This heat vent happened to be in the very bedroom that Santa was! In one of those fitful moments of sleeping and waking, the little girl looked through that vent. What did she see? She could have sworn she saw Santa’s shiny black boot. She saw his bright red pant leg and the white around the cuff. She was so excited but her throat hurt so badly that she could only point up at the heat vent and say “Santa”. Her sister, still rubbing her hair, whispered, “yes, Santa’s here”. Then the little girl finally quit fighting and sleep overtook her little body. The little girl finally slept.
The next morning, Christmas morning, the little girl woke up in her mother’s bed. She crawled down and ran into the living room where all her presents from Santa were still unopened. She had slept through Christmas eve and was the only one who hadn’t opened her presents. As she opened her first present, she told all of the family about seeing Santa upstairs. Her older siblings just laughed at her and told her she was making her story up. Her daddy patted her head and told her she was a very sick little girl and she only saw her mother’s red dress tail and heels and imagined it all. Her oldest sister told her she was dreaming. The little girl became sad, and started to cry.
Only her mother believed her. Her sweet, wonderful mother. She hugged her daughter, smiled and said, “yes, I believe you Ladygirl.” It didn’t matter if anyone else did. Her mother believed her. That was enough.