Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Squashing Santa

"Grammy, Addie told me that there is no Santa Claus," Gabby informed me yesterday when I picked her up from school. "I don't think that's true (waiting for it...waiting for it)..... do you?"

Ah, how quick can I be on my feet? Just exactly what is my role here? Why me, God? Why me!

"Well.....," I say trying to come up with a vague answer. "I like to believe that there is a Santa."

"Me, too," she adds. "I believe."

I remember when my son was young. The same was asked upon hearing the same rumor at school. Long live the 'Santa is a lie' rumor. His older sister knew the truth, so we decided that it was time to sit down for that stomach wrenching conversation. Darn it! I like Santa as well as the next kid. I like to think that he at the North Pole surrounded by elves with Mrs. Claus making candy. On Christmas Eve, we go to church but the child in me still hopes that Santa is in his sleigh making his rounds.

My son listened to my explanation of the non-existent Santa and the reasons we have lied over the years.

"Does that mean there is no Easter Bunny?"

Darn it. My planned conversation didn't include wiping out every belief. Darn.

"I know there is a tooth fairy. I felt her reach under my pillow," he continued.

Life is rough as a parent. I don't like that I have been the eradicator of childhood fantasies. I don't like that I squash dreams of flying reindeer, a rabbit carrying eggs from place to place. I was so thrilled that my son still believe in the tooth fairy that I grabbed hold and believed, too.

"Grammy, a lot of kids in my class don't believe in Santa," Gabby sadly tells me. "They don't believe."

Oh, if ever there was a Santa, I needed proof now. Why couldn't this wait for Mom or Dad? Argh!

"Well, Honey, it would be sad if we had Christmas without the excitement of Santa Claus," I lamely reply.

Once more my granddaughter amazes me.

"It would be okay, Grammy," she sincerely said. "Christmas is about the birth of Baby Jesus. It would be okay."

Oh, yes, sweet girl. It would be okay.

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