He reminds me of someone...
Oh, wait. I remember now. It's me.
And here's the other thing about Gabriel. Though he loves me, he clearly thinks I'm a moron.
The other day, for instance, my younger son Julian asked me about Santa Claus while we played in the front yard. By playing, I mean that the kids were hurling a football and I was drinking a Pete's Cherry Wheat in a pink plastic Adirondack chair.
"Dad," said Julian, "How old is Santa?"
This was a relative easy question, as far as Santa questions go, and I jumped on it.
"Santa is thousands of years old, Julian."
He seemed placated by my answer and since placation is really all you can hope for when you answer your children's questions, I took a satisfied swig.
I turned to see Gabriel rolling his eyes.
"Santa is not thousands of years old," Gabriel retorted. "The Santa Claus position is thousands of years old. It's actually passed down from person to person, like a king or a queen. Nobody lives for a thousand years."
I looked squarely at this little blond kid with the serious look on his face.
"It does sound stupid now that I think about it."
"Sheesh!" he answered.
"What if I told you Santa Clause was a vast conspiracy by adults to make kids believe in an imaginary being? What if I told you also that adults formulated this conspiracy without ever actually discussing it? Further, would you believe that most parents have no clear idea why they're part of this vast conspiracy? And what if I told you parents buy all of the toys at Christmas and give the credit to this imaginary Santa because they love their children and don't care about getting the credit for it?"
Gabriel didn't hesitate. "That's ridiculous!"
"Yeah," I said. "I suppose it is."