Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's Never Too Late to Fake It

Kyle believed in Santa until he was about nine years old. It was the Easter Bunny who blew it first, actually....

Kyle revealed, "Mom, you know how I know that you and dad are the Easter Bunny? There is no way that a rabbit could jump all the way up to top of the closet to put my basket up there."

He didn't connect the Easter Bunny to Santa for several months, though.  I can still remember the look on his face when he made the connection (so cute).

Kendall, though, was just six the day she asked me to tell her the truth about Santa. I gave her our standard, "Santa is a tradition that our family celebrates, yes."  

"No, Mom. That's not what I mean. Are you and Daddy Santa?"

Now, I didn't want to tell her, but I also didn't want to lie. I once met a grown woman who was traumatized by learning her parents were Santa (She lost all faith in them and even doubted the existence of God, as a result.) For that reason, Mr.4444 and I did talk about Santa and practiced some traditions related to him (stockings, for example), but we never stressed the Santa-thing as the center of it all. 

"Kendall, what do you want me to say?"  (See, I'd read somewhere that if a kid asks a question point-blank, you should answer it truthfully, and I wanted to give her an out, because if you ask me a question, I will tell you the answer, and Kendall knew that.)

"I want to know if you and Daddy are Santa."

"Yes, Honey. We're Santa."

And she jumped up (there might have been a little fist-pump) and cried, "I knew it! I knew it!" She was so proud of herself. I told her that even though she now knew who Santa was, she must respect that her friends' parents wouldn't appreciate her sharing her new information. We also talked about how she had a new and special role of helping spread the "magic" of Santa to her little cousins, etc. And that was that.

Or so I thought.

Six months later, at 7 o'clock in the morning, Kendall comes down the stairs from her bedroom, marches into mine, bursts into tears, and sobs, "Why did you tell me there's no Santa?!"  There followed bawling and the application of parental guilt; it seems you're damned if you do and damned if you don't!

So, Kendall obviously survived, but to this day, I feel a little bad about "ruining" Santa before she was ready.  She's a teenager now, though, and last year, when I decided to put all of the presents under the tree on Christmas Eve, I figured it was no big deal. 

Apparently, I was wrong; it is a big deal. 

Oh, she was nice enough about it at the time, but this year, she made a point of telling me that "Santa" doesn't leave unwrapped gifts laying around the house (even if the recipient knows what she's getting), and Santa doesn't put all of the presents under the tree before anyone goes to bed. And guess what? Apparently, just because "Santa" doesn't come to our house any more doesn't mean he isn't responsible for buying candy canes to "secretly" put on the tree in the middle of the night on Christmas eve, either. 

Okay, I get the point. I've learned; my Santa days are not over. I'm being a good mom and doing my best to make Christmas feels special, just for Kendall. 

That includes saying, "How am I supposed to know?" when she asks what Santa's bringing her this year (numerous times).

And that makes Kendall very happy.

[Shoot! She just admonished me for leaving the candy canes on the table in the kitchen. (What?! I was wrapping presents today, and they were in the bag. I did have a thought about hiding them, but I forgot.) "Be more careful!" she chastised.

 I just told her to stop harassing me. Santa's watching, after all.  Right?!

1 comment:

  1. You should get her a personalized t-shirt that says, "I believe in Santa."


Your 2 cents...