Phoebe Believes So Much That It's Like Falling Off A Crazy Cliff

My sister Phoebe still has pies in her eyes when she thinks about life, you know, still thinking there's a Santa Claus and all, even when every phony Santa down at Gimbels lets their fake beard fall off their face, and they even smoke Camels in front of the kids, the crazy bastards...we have to lie to every goddam kid that those are Santa's helpers and the real Santa would never do corny stuff like that.

That's the thing about kids, they want to believe. They want to think the ducks in the pond won't freeze to death in the winter, and that the carousel horse with the glass eyes might someday come alive and jump right off that goddam merry-go-round and give them a ride right up Fifth Avenue.

That's the swell thing about kids--they really crack me up, they really do--because they believe everything they see. And we should kiss the bottoms of their little feet and let them know it's okay to believe. Even if the rest of the world thinks they're just little kids running off some crazy cliff in a field of rye with no one to catch them--no one big, at least--we should let them believe like a madman, because when they realize it's all made up, they won't be kids any more.

---Holden, May 2011

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