… But I wasn’t ready

This week I had to have the talk. I didn’t want to have the talk, I tried to avoid the talk. I remember the day that I had the equivalent of the talk… it wasn’t a good day. I still feel sad about it. The talk robbed much of the magic and wonder… it stole a bit of my naïve. I imagined that the talk would be further into the future- somewhere around 13. I guess I was naïve…

My daughter came home with that grumble in her soul, that stress that comes when she has something bugging her. I wait it out, knowing that she will come to me when she is ready. She hinted a bit about the kids in her class and a poll and how she was one of the few that answered how she did. We dropped Lucy off to basketball and it came out. “Mom is Santa real?”… “Of course, I believe in Christmas spirit and Saint Nick and magic.”… again and again “Mom BUT is he real????????”

She stated that many of the kids in her class don’t believe, they said Santa isn’t real. I told her that they really suck the magic out of something special- and for the rest of your life people will do that, choose to know what you know. She insisted on knowing that truth, which makes me believe she had already made her decision. I was driving and really wanted to cry… thankfully it was dark. I realized this was the talk and I wanted to do it right. Only it had to happen right now- before her sister was done shooting hoops.


I shared the big secret. I told her that I buy and wrap presents and put them under the tree. I am the Santa that gifts her Jesus’ birthday presents. Santa is real. Saint Nicholas is real, he has a special role in history just like Jesus. Santa and Saint Nicholas are more present in spirit during this time of year. Look at people this time of year, dear. People want to take care of others, people spoil poor children, they volunteer to cook at the City Mission, people take care of their neighbors. Lovely, that is all bits of Santa and the spirit of Christmas. I laughed and tried to break any awkward with a little sarcasm “Wouldn’t it be nice is the other 11 months people thought of Santa and Christmas???”… She agreed.

I reminded her that I believe in Santa. I might buy and wrap and spoil her, but there is a North Pole and helpers and magic. I told her just like Madeline isn’t physically sitting with us at the Christmas Tree- she is there. There is no body sitting and enjoying with us, but we can feel her spirit. She is here, just not how we imagined it would be. Santa is here, just not as she imagined he is. She kept repeating to me “Mom… I believe in Santa, I do.” I felt sad that she had to remind herself, reassure herself. I asked her is she was sad, she told me yes. I know that feeling. I didn’t feel mad that I had been lied to, I felt like the surprise and magic were stolen. I imagine that is what my daughter felt…

We made it to 10 years old… obviously Madeline has known for a while so I guess It was earlier. I told my girl the rule- that she knows a secret and she is not to share it with others. It isn’t an unsafe secret, but if she respects this it will be a grown up bit of knowledge that doesn’t break others ideas and beliefs. I told her she is to respect others, including her sister. I told her respecting others and her sister and the magic is VERY important and she needs to do it to be more mature. She promised she would honor that expectation… but a piece of me broke off that night.

The thing is, why don’t all parents encourage their kids to honor other families and other traditions? Why do other parents not remind their child that this is an honored secret? That when you are gifted the talk and you get to move the elf or know that Santa isn’t real- we honor the other kids. Instead of pushing our kids to be older, we can embrace that childhood magic, that spirit. For my own heart and the hearts of many other moms, let’s try to do this better. I felt like my daughter was cornered into believing in not believing. I saw it. Let’s try to do this in a building way, not a breaking. I know I would love to see it.

As hard and sad as it was, it reminds me to be lucky. I have 3 lovely girls, 2 of which keep growing and maturing and becoming. Madeline is and will forever be 5 ½… she travels with us in spirit. I am lucky, well except with Lottery Tickets. I have a good life, I have good words, and I have the best freakin’ girls ever. I look ahead with excitement and fear- I look back with contentment and love. I will forever love and cherish the time that I was a Secret Santa and delivered Jesus’ birthday presents under the surname of Santa Claus. I will forever miss the piece of naïve I took from my daughter on that drive… and I will never get to take back those years of being ‘Santa’ in the way I was. I will try and work to be the mom and me that is needed right now, and in 5 minutes and again in days. I wish… but I can’t change.

Welcome new world, lacking some of what once was…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s