For the past two years she has detested Santa; considered him in cahoots with the devil. Yesterday her ah-ha moment came in the mall, mid-way between JCPenny's and the food court. She saw Santa, tightened her grip on my hand, picked up the pace, and said, "I do not like that man."
"Too bad," said Abby. "He gives out candy canes."
Maya stopped dead in her tracks. I swear I heard brakes screeching. "I will see Santa." She said it with resolve. And then she not only saw Santa, she yukked it up. "Santa, I love your beautiful red Christmas hat," she gushed. I swear the girl was flirting. She hugged him.
An elf snapped a picture and I paid an exorbitant price, but it was worth it.
Abby got one candy cane and Maya the flirt got two. Maya ran over to me, exultant. We were walking away when she said, "Just a minute," and sprinted those little red shoes right back to Santa. She threw one of her candy canes in his basket, put her hand on his knee and said, "Bring it to me later."
So young, and yet so scary smart.