Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Jake and Santa Claus

This weekend I participated as photographer for the Santa and His Paparazzi event on the Boardwalk. It's a sweet and special occasion to see the children interact with Santa. They always surprise me with their questions and comments to Santa. Some are shy, some are very excited, some come prepared, but there are a few who fall into a category all their own, which brings me to 3 year-old Jake.

Jake's parents said he had been very excited on the way to see Santa, but suddenly was not such a happy camper when he got actually got on Santa's lap. His older sister, Ashley, thought perhaps Jake had a flashback to all those times he'd been reminded to be good...and had a teeny, tiny problem.

His parents, Brent and Tara Belongy, had talked to Jake on the way over about what he was going to ask Santa to bring him. Jake said,"Everything on the commercials and in the magazine!" But now Jake slumped rather dramatically in Santa's lap and couldn't be persuaded to talk at all.

Santa did his best to get Jake to confide in him, but nothing helped.

Finally we realized Jake actually seemed upset with himself, though no one could figure out why.

His mom and sister talked to Jake and eventually discovered why he was so inconsolable...

It was because...he hadn't brought his list! Now this may not seem a big issue at first, but when you consider that Jake wants "everything on the commercials and in the magazine," that's a lot of pressure for a little fellow to handle when he's sitting on Santa's knee and realizes he left his list at home.

Jake's dad, Brent, leaned over to reassure him that it would be okay and that they would e-mail the list to Santa when they got home. At this point Jake firmly told his dad, "I'm tired and I need a nap!"

I'm not sure that Jake will get everything on his list this year, but I think his family definitely will when Jake receives his first Oscar for lead actor in a comedy.

I requested permission from Jake's parents to share the photos of his visit to Santa with you, and they generously agreed. His mom shared with me that when they left the Boardwalk his sister Ashley carried a tired little Jake all the way back to the car, whereupon he asked his folks if they thought a trip to McDonald's would recharge his batteries.

Uh, Santa, could you add a recharge to Jake's list.

[Note: Jake might be upset if I didn't let you know that he will turn four on December 21 - but that's another list.]

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