One night, when my girls were very little (I’d say around 3, 5, and 7), they started to ask me questions after nighttime prayer:
“Mommy, does Jesus REALLY see everything?”
“Yes baby, He sees everything.”
“Mommy, does He see even when no one else is around?”
“Yes baby, even when no one else is around.”
“Mommy, did He see who broke your picture?”
“Yes baby, He saw that.”
“Mommy, do you talk to Jesus.”
“Yes baby, I do talk to Jesus.”
“Does Jesus talk to YOU, Mommy?” [ding! ding! ding!] Now, I do believe that Jesus speaks to me through my conscience, my intuition, and the good works of others but that’s not what she wanted to know. What she really wanted to know was if Jesus told me who broke that picture. Being the person that I am I couldn’t resist:
“Yes baby, Jesus DOES talk to me.”
“Does He talk to you on the phone? Do you know His phone number?”
“Yes baby, I DO know Jesus’ telephone number.” (Don’t judge me.)
“How did you get His telephone number?”
I told them that the reason babies are born with their fists clinched is because when they were in Heaven Jesus put His phone number and a note in their hands on a piece of paper and told them to hold on to it and make sure not to drop it. Then, when they were born, I got it and read it. I told them that one day, when they become mommies, their kids would be born with their own notes. I said it with the most serious face I could manage. And they totally bought it.
For almost two years, all I had to say was, “Don’t make me call Jesus!” and I could get the truth out of them about anything. “Mommy, I’ll tell you the truth! Just please don’t call Jesus!” I’d even hear them talking among themselves, “Ohhhhh, you better not do that! Jesus is gonna call Mommy!” Before I got busted, I absolutely found out who broke the picture along with a string of other explanations for what had previously been blamed on the mysterious Idunno and Nobody.
Moral of the story: Kids are smart. Santa Claus only works for about a month before Christmas. Any longer than that and they figure they have time to prove to Santa that they are really a good kid. Besides, the worst thing that Santa can do is not leave presents. Jesus works all year long.