Thursday, November 19, 2009

A little piece of me died inside

As I was driving home from dropping my three older children off at piano lessons my youngest asked that dreaded three word question,

"Is Santa real?"

She didn't even give me a chance to answer she just went straight into, "Did you wrap my presents last year mom?" Asking in a slightly teasing and mischievous tone of voice.

My heart skipped a beat...or two. I drove on. Stunned. My six year old was asking me this.

My youngest.

I thought I would have at least a couple more years before this conversation occurred.

I kept driving. My mind working furiously.

I'm really not good at this conversation. In the past I have directed them to talk with their dad who does a much better job conveying the importance and understanding of the magic of Santa Claus. And here I was put on the spot, out of the blue.

This is an important conversation. Especially for "BELIEVERS", of which I am one.

(and yes that word deserves to be capitalized and italicized.)

So I parried her question with a question. "Do you think I wrapped your presents?"

Her reply? "Yes."

"Well I believe in Santa." I offered up to her. Not good enough. Then I gave her the standard "You know, Santa doesn't bring presents to those who don't believe."

"We'll Sally* doesn't believe in Santa and she got presents last year."

I went silent and drove on.

And a little piece of me died.

And somewhere Santa cried.


*names have been changed because I can't remember the actual name that she gave me.

23 comments:

Lisa Lou said...

I'm a believer too! What a sad day. I hate that other little kids have to ruin it for the rest of the believers.

Emmy said...

Oh so sorry! And at 6... how sad. My son who is 5 still strongly believes and I hope it last a couple more years

TJ said...

I had the Santa talk with my 8 year old last night and posted about the same thing today. I want think of my kids listening for hooves on the roof.

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

I'm a believer too. Santa is the spirit of giving and we're just his helpers.

Jillene said...

I have still to this day, never told my parents that I don't believe. Our motto was always--"If you don't believe, you don't receive". I'm sticking to it!!

Amander said...

I found out when I was five, but I never told my parents because I knew my mom would react the same way you are right now. And I didn't want to be "responsible" for that!

But it didn't diminish the joy or the spirit any - and when you choose to believe I think it makes it that much better!

Melanie said...

My youngest will be 10 next month and she figured it out last year. She recently told me what a “glorious tradition” Santa is and how “the idea of Santa Claus should be passed down forever.” I use quotes because we talked about this last week, right after she gave me a dissertation on the purpose and usefulness of the Vice Presidency of the United States.

Kristina P. said...

I don't remember when I found out! I may hate children, but I don't hate them that much to ruin Santa for them. ;)

Cynthia said...

Oh No! I think I may be there too. My 9 year olds were very skeptical last year but I KNOW they've figured it out now. They have been smart enough not to say anything to me.

I'm mostly worried they're ruin it for my 6 year old.

My sister assumed her 11 year old new all about it so she said to her one day "So, you know about Santa, right?" to which the daughter replied "Sure". My sister asked "When did you figure it out that Santa is your parents?" and her daughter stated "Just now when you said that". Don't assume!

Neurotic Chic said...

Aw, sad day for you. :( My boys have known since they were pretty little, but we still pretend and have a great time at Christmas.

Brooke said...

Lincoln's been threatening not to believe for a couple of years. We've had just enough luck to pull us through, the NASA Santra tracker got us a couple of years. Last year he pretty much gave up, but rather than telling him Santa didn't exist, I told him if he believed Santa brought presents then he'd get some. I also explained that his siblings deserved to believe and have the same experience. We'll see how this year goes...

wonder woman said...

I was honestly 11 years old before I stopped believing. So naive and just didn't want to believe otherwise.

it is a sad day.

That Girl said...

I'm having issues with the whole Santa thing to begin with - and I'm a believer, too.

I'm wondering if I should go straight to THE TALK and skip the lies?

.........

dunno

I'm Erin said...

dang. I'm sad about that. My mom didn't tell me...EVER. really, she just said, If I wanted SAnta to come, then I needed to believe.

Teachinfourth said...

In a time like this, probably the best advice I could give is to say something like:

"Santa represents many of the wonderful things that Christmas is really all about...thinking of others, giving, and being kind. Santa is one way of remembering and feeling the Spirit of Christmas; that is what Santa is really all about. So, do I believe in Santa? Every time someone is kind to somebody else, I know he's real..."

the fowlers said...

This is a much happier story than the one for the youngest in my family. Picture it:

An argument was taking place and, incidentally, it had nothing to do with Christmas.
Suddenly, one older sister (who shall not be named), yelled in a fit of rage:
"Well, Noah, Santa isn't even real!!"
To which mom shrieked (literally):
"You are RUINING Christmas for the whole FAMILY!"


I'm a believer, too. I don't remember ever asking my parents about it, even after I "knew." I believed (and still do believe) in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, 5 Easter Bunnies, wishing on dandelions, etc. It makes the world go round.

Shelle and Dan said...

Oh, that's sad, but maybe it can be turned into a positive thing. Now that she's such a big girl, maybe she can better understand how some kids don't get presents at Christmas. If your mall has an Angel Tree (other places call it a Sharing Tree) you could take her there and explain how now it's her turn to be Santa Clause for someone else. She could use her own money to buy a child-in-need a gift. This is something we'll do with our daughter when she's older. Maybe it'll work for you guys too?

wendy said...

That is the saddest thing 'when the fantasy dies'

I always told my kids
Santa comes to those who believe

they wanted presents, so they chose to believe (tee,hee)

tammy said...

I would cry too! I'm dreading the day my 8 yr old finds out. He's said to me before that so-and-so doesn't think Santa is real and I always say, "Well I do," and so far he's said he does too. He even justified it by saying that parents couldn't afford to buy that many toys. He's right on that one.

Mommy Madness said...

I do BELIEVE!!! i m so a believer...i wrote a post similar to this.. about this time last year...and yes did i mention that i m a believer?

♫ Spasm ♫ said...

believer here~

loved this post... love the picture of Santa crying. He cried two years ago again, over our household....

M-Cat said...

I hated that moment ALL THREE TIMES!

And to think I have neighbors who purposely tell their children the truth as early as they can. I don't get their logic!

Omgirl said...

So what was the final result? did you admit there was no santa? Did she believe you or let it die? Because I dread this conversation! I already have a surprisingly hard time "lying" about Santa. so I really don't know what I'm going to do when my kids ask me if Santa is real. I don't think I can lie right to their faces, but I don't want to kill their dreams either!