As Christmas season rolled around, it was only a matter of time for the kids to start talking Santa, gifts, elves and Christmas magic...and so it happened.. all the 5th graders started questioning the existence of Santa, searching the internet for answers that made sense and relying on each other to either keep their belief alive or uncover the "truth" once and for all.
Olivia came home one day and said "all the kids at school are telling me Santa isn't real"... I cried a little.. then she proceeded to tell me that she was starting to doubt it herself and brought up the fact that Santa couldn't possibly deliver gifts for all the kids in the world... she went even further and asked me why the elves are sold in stores if they are magical creatures that Santa sends from the North Pole. I didn't want to burst her bubble yet or even assume she knew more than she really did so I replied with a witty "what to YOU think?"... and she simply said "I don't know anymore...but I'm pretty sure he's real and kids are just being mean as usual"...ha! Mom win!! She still believes!! Or so I thought...
A few days went by and she brought up the subject again.. (of course she would!).. only this time it didn't catch me so off guard; during previous days I had been talking to friends with older kids and also to some of my internet friends from Olivia's pregnancy forum (yes, we still keep very much in touch after all these years!). All these wonderful mothers had either gone through this already or were in the middle of it like I was... This time Olivia said to me "Mom.. I'm almost convinced Santa isn't real"... I froze for a moment... then she went on to say "the only thing that makes me doubt is that I KNOW you would NEVER lie to me about that stuff"... this time I froze for longer moment... that's when I knew I HAD to tell her. It suddenly dawned on me that my "little lady" has reached the age where if I didn't tell her the truth she'd feel betrayed and I wasn't about to jeopardize her blind trust in me for the guy in the red suit. Sorry, Santa!
So I went on to tell Olivia about the "magic" of Christmas and how parents have the beautiful responsibility of helping to keep that spirit alive and even though there might not be a guy in a red suit that slides down the chimney (wherever there are chimneys..LOL) and flies in a sleigh pulled by reindeers, there IS just something magical and beautiful about the Christmas spirit that is simply undeniable. She smiled with that sweet face she's always had and hugged me tight; a couple of tears rolled down her cheeks (and mine!) and she said to me "Thank you mom! For giving me so much magic during all these years.. I really enjoyed believing in Santa!"..and she closed the conversation with an unexpectedly amusing remark...."can I move the elves now? ours are really boring!"... ha ha.. that's Olivia!.. and I love her so much for that...sure, Olivia.. knock yourself out.. those elves were driving me nuts anyways.. ha!
Of course I made sure to also tell her about the HUGE responsibility she now has as a big sister to two little kids that still believe in Santa and the elves and everything else. She acknowledged her new "job" and went about with her day, excited about the prospect of being an "accomplice" to this magic thing....
I have to say that even though I really dreaded the moment my kids found out the truth about Santa, the conversation went way better than expected. She knows the truth and I'm surprisingly ok with it and I am even happy that she handled it with her usual grace and maturity, also I figure she's 10 so we had a pretty long run...
We have agreed, however, that we will continue to take Santa pictures for as long as we all shall live...because Santa IS real!
Merry Christmas, everyone!
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