"Is Santa Real?"
Just the kind of question you don't want to be asked by your 7 year old son on the way to Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh.
"Is Santa real?"
And especially in front of his brothers.
You know, I don't remember exactly when I discovered that Santa was, well... in actuality my mom and dad. But I have to believe I wasn't 7 years old. I feel like I was one of those kids that held out for as long as I possibly could. If my memory serves me correct, I think my parents had to actually break the news to me on their own. Seriously.
I can't quite describe what it felt like to be asked "Is Santa real?" by my William. It was like someone letting the air out of a balloon... I felt deflated. But I couldn't act deflated, I needed to be on-guard and try to give him an answer that wouldn't ruin the magic of Christmas for him.
And so I lied. I don't encourage lying to kids, but sometimes it's needed.
First I asked him the logical question, "Who told you that!?"
William didn't want to give the kid up... but he finally said, "Scott from 2nd grade at recess. He laughed when I told him Santa was watching him."
That broke my heart. A line that I use on him and his brothers a thousand times a day, he's repeating at school and (hold me) being laughed at. Fortunately he said that his 2 buddies "backed him up" and said that they believed in Santa, too. Apparently Scott didn't like that. He then proceeded to tell him that Santa's not real.
The thing is, I felt I was at a crossroad. I don't want William to be laughed at, but I don't want William to stop believing. It's important to me to have him enjoy at least one more Christmas of pure and utter magic.
But I did, I lied.
I looked William in the eyes and said, "Of course there's a Santa. Who do you think gets all those toys for you and your brothers? There's no way we could hide them all in our house!"
He didn't seemed convinced, not one bit.
And I have to say... it crushes me.
There's something innocent and oh-so-magical about seeing your children wake up on Christmas morning and run to see if Santa came. We video it every year and it never ceases to amaze me - the UTTER JOY and HAPPINESS that Santa was here! We leave the cookies and milk out for Santa... and the carrots for the deer. And every year the boys get so excited when they see the cookies are gone and carrots have bites in them.
It's the true moments like this that I cherish with the boys on Christmas Day...
I wish Scott had never said a thing to my son.
I wish William believed me.
I wish that William just had one more year of Christmas glitter and magic.
My hope is that William doesn't share his "questions" with his younger brothers... not yet! He dropped the conversation last night after I was so adament that Scott was wrong. But only time will tell...
Because after all, I'm waiting for Santa to come to town in a month and deliver some pretty cool things for the boys.
And I intend to keep the magic alive always and forever...for my mom still signs all the gifts to me for the holidays - Love, Santa.
There's delight and enchantment in that for me!