On Friday I wore this jacket that I had made to the store, along with a red/burgundy knit cap. As I turned the corner and went down an aisle, I came upon a group of 4 kids - all under the age of 9 - standing there with an adult. Their talking stopped immediately when they saw me and they just stared. I smiled and waved as I walked by and stopped a few feet from them to pick out a load of bread. I overheard one of them say, "Do you think it's really him?". Another commented, "Look at what at what his coat says!". I found my bread and moved on, waving to the kids again as I left. Two of them waved back and the other two stared with their mouths open. As I continued to shop, I periodically discovered that I was being followed by this same group of kids. What was very funny was that every time I would spot them, they'd run into each other trying to scatter and hide in different directions.
Later as I was waiting to check out, I noticed a pair of grandparents in front of me with their granddaughter of around 7 years old. Granddad reminded me a little of my dad. The little girl would look at me, then whisper something to granddad. He'd smile, look at me and then answer her. After a moment, he turned to me and said, "Excuse me, sir. My granddaughter was wondering if you're the real Santa. I told her that one sure way to tell is that the real Santa wears a special ring.". He glanced down at my hand and then winked at me. I said to the girl, "Well Becky, (her name was on her sweatshirt) your granddad is right. The real Santa does wear a special ring. And he's the only person in the world that has this ring." I looked around, held my right hand up and whispered to her - "And her it is.". She let out an audible gasp. So did grandma! She looked at it for a couple of minutes as they checked out. I told her that her granddad was part of a special group of people called, "The Friends of Santa" and that's how he knew about the ring. They all said thank you, and then we're on their way with all of them talking a mile a minute.
As I was loading my groceries in my car, the granddad approached me and said he doesn't get to see his granddaughter as much as he'd like because she lives far away. He then thanked me for making him look like a hero to her. I looked at him and said, "Sir, I saw the look in her eyes when she'd look at you. You were already her hero and you always will be.". Suddenly we were both at a loss for words, just looking at each other. But there was an understanding. We shook hands, did an awkward guy hug and went our separate ways.#alwaysbesanta