A Real Christmas

“Real. That’s what that says, real.”

We’re sat out on the porch in Pinamar and my six-year-old daughter is drawing and writing in her notebook while her younger brother and sister play in the garden with four-ton, the dog. The six-year-old stops and looks up at me and says, “How do you spell real?” I help her spell it out and she writes it down, first once and then a second time. I can hear her sounding out the word as she writes it.

“What are you writing?” I ask.

“My Father Christmas list.”

“What’s the real for?”

“I put it after jewelry and camera, to make sure Father Christmas knows that I want real jewelry and a real camera.”

“Oh,” I think.

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