Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Unlike Ems, I have perpetuated the Santa myth at my household; however, not as intensely as some friends who ring bells outside, write notes to the kids, and have the abhorrent "Elf-on-the-Shelf." We have set out cookies & carrots for Santa and his reindeer; we've written notes with our gift wishes; and we read Twas the Night before Christmas. I felt as if I had done my due diligence with creating a fantasy Christmas, but I also realized that Ems and I are cut from the same cloth: I cannot lie directly to my child. I love the open, honest relationship I have with Grace (my 5 year old) and I cherish the trust she has in me. So, when she started questioning things this year--- I repeatedly answered, "What do you think?" Until this conversation after Christmas:
Grace said, "I just love this sparkly purse that you gave Lissie! Where did you get it?"
I said, "Actually, that came in her stocking, so Santa got it for her."
Grace retorted, "Um, I know you got it mom. I know that Santa's not real."
Horrified, I sputtered, "What makes you say that?"
She replied, "Well, I read the story of St. Nicholas. The real story. I know he's dead. He died of the same illness as his parents. What's that called? Oh, yeah, the Plague. Remember lots of people in the Middle Ages died of that."
I froze, but then remembered some Pinterest Santa reveal story I had read and said, "You are right. St. Nicholas died a long time ago, but he wanted parents to carry on the tradition of giving kids presents on Jesus's birthday. Understand? Are you o.k.?"
"Yup. I'm fine."
I added, "Oh, and don't tell your friends or little ones who still believe. It can be magical for them."
Grace said, "I know." And scampered off before I could elaborate.
Should I have tried to lie to my 5 year old and use words like "magic" and not-really-dead? I think that's confusing for them. On one hand I tell her that magic & monsters aren't real, but at Christmas, Santa flies in a sleigh with reindeer? No wonder she figured it all out.
Well, not much I can do-- I now have co-conspirator at Christmas time. Honestly, I feel relief that I can be truly honest with her and preserve our special relationship!
Easy Rule #567123 Sometimes you may start out thinking you'll be one type of parent and end up changing to meet the needs of your kids!