So Trooper and I were walking in a craft store when I realized that he had fallen behind. I turned to find him staring intently at a shelf of Santa statues. "What are you looking at?" I asked.
"He's black," he said. "Why he's black?"
Cue awkward music as I decide how to answer the question. How can Santa be both black and white, and on the same shelf? I wouldn't be in this predicament if Dad didn't insist on treating Santa as a real person. I chose to answer without addressing the question I knew he was really asking. "Well, maybe some people want a black Santa. It's OK."
Loud look from the four-year-old, whose skin is darker than any ceramic Santa I've ever seen. That look said, "I saw Santa yesterday and he's white. You don't know what you're talking about, mom."
"It's OK, Trooper. Some people want a Santa that's the same color as them. Really, it's OK."
He turned back to the Santas.
I said, "If white people can turn Jesus white, it's OK for black people to turn Santa black." I didn't expect him to understand what I meant by this, but either he did understand or he just thought it sounded logical because he decided to go with it. He left the Santas and followed me back to the paints.
Funny how some people can get all caught up in keeping the tradition of FICTIONAL characters, but not mind at all when real, historical individuals and nations are completely changed. Sometimes we can definitely get our world views mixed up.