I was driving somewhere with my son, and it was a typical day. We discussed his school day, the possibilities for dinner, and other ordinary things. And then this happened:
"Mom, what does Santa bring to people that are bad?"
"I believe that naughty people get coal instead of presents," I stated confidently, remembering stories from my own childhood. I felt that I had responded to the question appropriately, and gave myself a mental high-five. A bit prematurely, as it turned out.
"What if you're a coal miner?" came from the backseat.
"Uhhh..." I blamed my lack of a response on my need to concentrate on my driving. My mind was completely blank. Zane wasn't done.
"What if you need coal for fuel?"
"Doesn't coal become diamonds?"
Those were good points, I had to agree. They weren't questions that I would be able to answer with any clarity, however. I suggested that Zane ask Santa next time he saw him, to see what he would say, and exhaled in relief when my suggestion was met with agreement. I almost felt sorry for that poor Santa at the mall.
I also wondered why Zane's father never had to answer these sorts of questions!