Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Hanging By a Thread.
*****************************Christmas Spoiler Alert******************************
I shot myself in the foot. Again. It seems to happen around this time of year.
The subject of Santa has been raised. The three year old is just beginning to feel the magic. The eight year old is skeptical.
She has been told by 'friends' that Santa is a myth. She has been told that Santa is the husband and I. She has doubts.
When asked, I rely on my old staple - that I think a world where we believe in Santa is more fun, so I believe.
I see in her face that she wants to believe and the fact that we have a three year old with full conviction in the house means that's what I'm going to encourage. We talk about why some people don't get a visit from Santa because of religious preferences. We talk about different cultural, traditional and personal choices. We talk about why some people don't believe and it doesn't mean we have to think like them. She skips away seemingly satisfied. Phew, bullet dodged (again.)
Until - you knew it was coming - we go to tidy her room. This too is an annual tradition. We fill a box with toys for others. We clear out months worth of 'treasures', art and broken bits of who knows what. In the back of a drawer full of knick knacks - is a note from Santa - in my hand writing. I wrote it when she was 2 or 3. It was a little note for her stocking. I can see myself writing it - I thought it was such a cute idea. The eight year old looks delighted and deflated all at once.
"This is your writing mom - I know it is."
Well crap. There's no point in denying it. This is one of those moments. I feel like I am holding her childhood in my hand.
You hear people still talking about when they uncloaked Santa thirty years after the fact. Running through my head is the phrase - 'don't blow it.' I put on my best poker face and confidently state;
"Well sure, that's my writing. Santa brings you his one present but I think it's fun to write gift tags from Santa. I always write 'from Santa' on Daddy's gift. It's just my tradition." My tone is light. Inside my guts are churning and my heart is banging in my chest. Her face relaxes. She smiles.
"This year let's keep the tag that's actually from Santa OK?"
"Great idea," I say casually.
Parenting - not for the faint of heart.