I spoke last year about the difficulty of outing Santa to my son. He was at an age that most kids no longer believed, so he needed to know – I didn’t want his ‘believing’ to potentially embarrass him among his peers.
I took the opportunity to spill the beans about Santa to him last June. The timing was good since absolutely no one was talking about Mr. Claus. My son was shocked, but generally it went over well. I positioned it in a way that he felt a part of the inner circle of maturity – he now had the responsibility not to ruin it for his younger siblings. He was on the same team as us parents, and it seemed to have some legs.
Not long after that, my 10-year-old daughter came downstairs one morning in tears. Apparently that slacker of a Tooth Fairy had forgotten to visit for the third night in a row. I guided her into the mud room, shut the door and said: “OK listen, I’m the Tooth Fairy and I suck at it, so (reaching into my pocket) here’s five bucks. You’re getting a couple of bucks extra as hush money”. She started laughing hysterically and asked who else was in on it. I said her big brother knew so she sought him out for a quiet meeting for those “in the know”. Big brother assumed she knew about all of the parental lies so blew the Santa secret. No great surprise for her – she admitted to having some suspicions on the Santa front.
Now that the holiday season is upon us, my son said to me last week “Mom, I’m really mad at you for telling me about Santa, but thanking you since no other kids my age believe in him. But, it’s still OK for me to believe in the Christmas spirit, right?” Yes son, permission granted.
And so, I have four believers in the big guy left and suspect by this time next year I’ll be down to three. The good news is, the two biggies are a great help. I can take them shopping and not worry about buying presents for the other kids. Also, they are in charge of relocating that ridiculous Elf on a Shelf every day. If you think I’m a bad Tooth Fairy, that’s nothing compared to when I had Elf-moving duties. Let’s just say we had the laziest Elf in town – and that’s exactly what I’d tell the kids.
Do you have a houseful of believers?