About 2:30 this morning, just after my wife and I got done setting up the Santa stuff and had gone to bed to read, our 11-year-old daughter walked into the living room and confirmed her suspicion that mom and dad are Santa. Taylor, our 13-year-old, had given up the fiction in October, finally confronting his mother with the question. Genny, on other hand, has been insisting on the big elf’s authenticity in the face of mounting opinion among kids at school that Santa is fiction.
And, so, though I feigned a “Santa’s fast and quiet” reaction when I walked into the living room, she crossed her arms and said: “You just stopped stomping around five minutes ago, you put this stuff out here.”
Shocked! she said, that we would eat the cookies and feed the carrots she left for Rudolph and the other reindeer to the guinea pigs rather than tell her the truth. Then she realized that it was mom and dad, not Santa, who had defied the rule against video games a couple years back and given an XBox that we still don’t like today. Her last note to Santa went into the scrapbook of momentous documents while she was uncovering years of deceptions.
This was not a teary transition. Genny benefits from her brother’s taking the lead. He had been working hard to keep the story going for his sister, but said we were pretty loud and that he couldn’t keep her distracted upstairs.
She’s a pretty empirical kid, who had to find a piece of red thread on the fireplace mantel one year to sustain her belief this long.
The toys, apparently, are not quite so special when not delivered by sleigh, but she got over it. While playing with a new toy on the floor–about 3:30 in the morning now–Genny looked up at her mother and said, “Don’t tell me the Easter Bunny’s not real, too?”
We assured her that as long as she lives in our house and believes in the Easter Bunny, he’ll keep coming.
Merry Christmas from this heathen household to you and yours.
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