"Julian," I say, as I return, "Did you just sing 'God has seen a reckless child'?"
"Yes," He says, "Those are the words."
I did attempt to set him straight, but it isn't as if this lyric couldn't fit in with the general theme of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing! and, in truth, it is a lot easier for a five year old to understand an all seeing eye in the sky keeping tabs on bad behavior than the concept that because it is Christmas, an almighty deity and those who sin regularly will hold hands and sing carols with one another. I mean, what is the whole point of being nice all year if, at the final hour, everyone gets a reprieve? How is that fair? Bartender, I would like to order a round of sin for the room, don't bother putting it on my tab.
Speaking of reckless children and remaining on the nice list for a few more weeks...
A couple of mornings later, we were running late and Julian was playing with a train car when he should have been putting on his shoes. I pointed out that he was being naughty.
"Santa is very forgiving," he says to me, pityingly, as if I am unaware of the ways of Santa.
"Well, Santa checks in with me before he delivers the gift," I tell him.
"Well, I am going to send in my letter to him before you have a chance to tell him anything," Julian replies, clearly believing he has outsmarted me.
"It doesn't work that way. Santa checks in with mommies before he makes the deliveries. He will talk to me after he gets your letter."
He gets quiet for a little bit, and then he says, in a voice filled both with innocent faith that the world works the way in which it is supposed to and pity that I would be so foolish as to think otherwise, "Santa would never put me on the naughty list."
Trump card played, he put on his shoes and finished getting ready. Of course we were late for school, but it probably doesn't matter. After all, one can infer from Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!, reckless children abound and their antics do not go unnoticed, but come Christmas, Santa will forgive and forget everything.