Four years ago, when my oldest was seven, she came right out and asked about Santa. I took the parental fall back position and answered her question with another question, i.e., "What do YOU think, Dear?" She basically said that none of it added up. One sleigh. One night. One man. The expense of all those toys…yada, yada, yada.
So I told her the truth, which then blew the cover off the Easter Bunny and The Tooth Fairy. She wasn’t upset and frankly, thought it was pretty neat and sneaky that I had been living this double life for 7 years. Somehow I became cooler and maybe even a little dangerous. Maybe she thought I dressed in black and wore a ski mask when I did my Christmas shopping and it added a little intrigue to my life.
Currently my youngest, who is eight-years-old, still believes. She actually handed me a Christmas list containing 42 items telling me not to worry because, "I asked Santa for all this stuff so you wouldn’t have to pay for it." Her logical mind, rather than taking her closer to the truth is taking her closer to being a proponent of voodoo economics. It is as if she’s proud of how her insanely long list is going to keep the economy rolling.
Because she’s not asking, I’ve been in the quandary as to whether or not I should just tell her. I mean, when do you finally sit the kid and down and say that the jig is up? I’m thinking it’s around the time that she hands you a Christmas list with a retail value of $2,000.
But then I stumbled on a possible solution that wouldn’t make me out to be the bad guy. You see, I think she found one of her Christmas gifts. A pink Nintendo DS that I had stashed in a Target bag. Since that’s what she asked for, and she has more than likely seen it in the house weeks before Christmas morning…she has to know…right?
WRONG. She asked me last night what I was getting her for Christmas. Would I maybe give her a hint? Maybe mention what color it is. Could it be…pink, she asked? So I did my famous answer a question with a question and asked, "Is there something on your mind that you want to discuss?"
"No," she replied. "I just really want to know what you’re getting me so I can figure out what Santa is going to bring."
I’m thinking to myself, "You’ve got to be shitting me!" I’m shocked that she’s so invested in her Santa fantasy that she’s not seeing the writing on the wall. This can’t be good. I’m having visions of her and her future jackass boyfriend telling her that seriously, he only cheated on her once and really, it meant nothing. Or her nodding her head while her boss gives her some line of bullshit about how she wont be getting a raise, but she’ll be getting stock options and just think what she’ll be worth once the company goes public, if it ever does. Or worse yet, when some sleaze bag tells her she’s so pretty, she could be a model and hey, maybe they could meet privately so he can take her picture.
COME ON, SISTER. See the writing on the wall. I know, I know, she’s only eight. But I’m concerned. Do I keep the fantasy going or not? Do I wrap the pink DS and sign it Love, Santa and then watch her unravel the truth as she unwraps the gift? Or do I keep her delicate psyche in mind and keep the charade intact?
They really need a rule book for us parents. I would definitely buy it and read it cover to cover.