The Day I Killed all the Magic
My children were all up and dressed before the sun awoke up this morning. This is partly my fault since I put them all to bed before the sun went down last night because PREGNANT MOMS GET TIRED!
I also forgot, yet again, to play Tooth Fairy last night because PREGNANT MOMS HAVE NO BRAIN CELLS! So Sloan, bless him, woke up disappointed one more time when there was no money left under his pillow.
Now let me give you a tiny glimpse into our philosophy on the “magic” of childhood. We have always celebrated things like the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause with our kids. I know some people do not agree with this, but for us, it was fun and we’ve never felt that it was harmful practice.
I destroyed the myth of the Easter Bunny for our children last year because, honestly, it was my least favorite story. I mean, it just logically doesn’t make sense. Bunnies don’t even lay eggs, for heaven’s sake!
Side note: I have a distinct memory from my childhood, when I swear up one side and down the other that I saw the Easter Bunny. I heard a noise outside and went to cross the hall to my parent’s room, and a six foot rabbit stood on his hind legs at the end of the hall. I was so terrified, I dashed back to my bed and pulled the blankets over my ears.
My parents maintain to this day that it was simply a result of my overactive imagination. I’m not entirely sure it wasn’t one of them dressed up to torture me. Either way, the memory is as real as the nose on my face and I will stand by the story until the day I die.
End side note.
came stumbled into the kitchen this morning at 6:20, and the first words to greet me were, “Mom! The Tooth Fairy didn’t come again. Is the Tooth Fairy even real?”
I’ve been wanting to let Sloan in on the secret of the Tooth Fairy and Santa for awhile now. I just really wanted him to hear from us, and not other people, that these were simply the fun aspects of being parents, so I took him to his room and tried to let him down gently.
“No. The Tooth Fairy isn’t real. I’ll give you a dollar for your tooth later, though, okay?”
Bribery is an art form, friends. Don’t judge.
“Well,” he said, and I knew it was coming. “What about Santa?”
“Well Santa is an interesting thing,” I answered as sweat gathered on my upper lip. “You know the true story of Saint Nicholas that I read to you every year?”
“Saint Nick was a real person, and he really did give gifts to those less fortunate. They hung stockings outside their windows, and on Christmas morning he would leave little treats, or necessary items in their stockings. It’s the magic of giving to others, and that’s a part of Christmas we like to celebrate.”
“Sooooo…Saint Nicholas is real?” Sloan asked.
“Well,” I answered, “Saint Nicholas was real. But he died a long time ago.”
Tact is also an art form. Look at all the things you’re learning from me today!
“And now,” I continued, “one of the fun things we get to do as parents is carry on his magical tradition of giving. We give to others at Christmastime, and we give to our children. We are Santa Clause! It’s a privilege to be Santa for our kids, and now that you know the secret, you can be Santa with us!”
He sits on his bed, face registering utter disbelief. “So you bought all those presents?”
“Well, yes,” I answered. You’re welcome, I thought. I wisely didn’t say that out loud.
“But I’ve heard Santa’s sleigh on the roof on Christmas Eve!”
There’s no real answer to this, so I stay quiet. This is probably somewhat akin to my vision of the Easter Bunny as a child.
“So,” he continued, still processing. “If I get to play Santa with you, does that mean I get to climb on the roof and slide down the chimney?!” His eyes light up.
“Uh…no. That doesn’t actually happen. That’s part of the myth of Santa.”
Face falls again.
“Now,” I continued. “Part of the fun of being Santa is keeping it a secret. You can’t tell anyone else about this because then it’s not as fun, so can you keep this just between us?”
He nods slowly. (I give it a week before the other two kids know about Santa.)
“I just can’t believe you’re Santa,” he says, shaking his head. Then he shrugs, stands up, and asks for some cereal, because when you’re a ten year old boy, food conquers all disbelief.
So the basic theme of this entire story is that I was Mommy the Dream Slayer this morning, and I destroyed the magic of childhood before the sun even rose above the trees. Later, after I’d sent them off to school, I got tickled about the whole conversation and called Lee (who is out of town) to tell him that I destroyed childhood for our firstborn today, and to congratulate him for missing out on that parenting milestone.
Then we both thought of this quote from Talladega Nights, and got to laughing so hard we were crying, because, yeah – for Sloan this was akin to being mauled by a cougar and having his favorite Crystal Gale t-shirt ruined.