At the end of the nite I confiscated the candy bags to weed out any non-veg contraband. We spoke to the kids beforehand about the fact that not all candy was edible because it may contain gelatin or eggs. When I say “spoke” that is kind of putting it mildly, I guess, because apparently I instilled in my son such a fear of the meat candy that for the first half hour he refused to hold out his candy bag. Personally, I found this behavior very advanced but a little…too…1972. So I had a little talk with the kid, convincing him that it is okay to beg door to door for alms. Like, seriously. This is brahmacari life.
So ends an era in my children’s isolated, cult existence. I suppose they will also learn, this year, who Santa Clause is. Thankfully, since my husband and I were both raised in Hanukkah Harry households (yes, we grew up on the set of Saturday Night Live), I think we can somehow get away with avoiding that trap, I mean tradition, even if the entire surrounding devotee population is into it. Which I am not quite sure that is the case.
I remember last year being in Wal-mart and some lady was all, “You ready for Santa? You been a good little girl and boy? What’s Santa going to bring you this year?” My kids had no idea what she was talking about since it was a topic that had never naturally come up in our remote farm life. Venumadhava just looked at her, curled his lip and growled. His mata couldn’t have been prouder. I kid you not.
So…I guess a lot has changed in this past year. A little too much, perhaps. But our kids are happy and chanting and my son is not asking to cut off his sikha anymore and my daughter is contemplating, internally, whether or not to offer her boogers before she eats them. I can see her mind working, sorting through Bhagavad Gita verses, trying to decide between rote, religious ritual and spontaneous bhakti.
Really, devotee kids are so special.