I don't know how to describe it. I guess a nice way to put it is that Mark is enterprising and resourceful. He likes to work angles to get what he wants.
And he always wants something.
When topics like "What I want for Christmas" come up and they do, if something is deemed too expensive by me, he will respond with a "then I'll ask Santa for that."
This always has caused worried looks between Braeden and Emma and me. I mean the kid is twelve.
Last summer I tasked Braeden with having The Talk with Mark. I thought it would be better coming from him.
For one reason or another, it never happened though. (My theory is that Braeden is, in the end, too tender hearted for such tasks.)
Last week, Emma and I went to dinner together. Over our exceptional Mexican food at Costa Vida (mmmm...mmmm), we talked about the Santa problem. I told Emma she had to take care of it. She can have the emotional detachment of a surgeon or she can also throw her arms around you, eyes filled with sympathetic tears. It depends on what the situation calls for. I told her that she had to take care of this situation and she said she would.
We nervously contemplated the outcome, possible emotional scarring, etc.
A few days later, Emma reported back to me. Their conversation had gone something like this:
Emma: Mark, we need to talk about Santa.
Mark: Yeah, I have known for years.
Emma: You HAVE? Mark! We've been worried about this.
I don't know what to think about Mark. He is a many faceted puzzle, that one.