Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Mom...Don't Lie To Me

First, let me preface this little story with a quote from Sophocles...

My girls are 8 and 6 and I have come to the realization that this will probably be the last year that they believe in Santa Claus. I hate this.

As they have gotten older, I see little disappointments start to mold them into what will eventually become the adult form of my children. The first time someone yelled at them. The first time they experienced a death in the family. The first bully problem at school. The list is getting longer and longer.

All of this inexorably leads to "growing up" which seems to be directly correlated to "getting used to pain and disappointment". This does not at all seem right to me.

This weekend, Sophie (6) looked directly into my eyes and said, "Mommy, don't lie to me. Do you buy the presents that come from Santa?" Maya's ears perked up and all of a sudden I am faced by these beautiful, innocent, upturned faces begging to be told the truth.

And what did I do when faced with this opportunity? What did I do when I have always prided myself in being the sort of parent who is totally upfront and honest with her children? ( Example: Honey, it's not a hoo-hoo, it's called a vagina.)

I lied.

I looked them dead in the eye and said, "Of course not! You both know that I would never be able to afford to do that! Santa comes to those who believe in him. You had better be careful what you say!"

I know that they have to know. That I eventually have to fess up. But not this Christmas. Not when we're so close.

There would be no Santa cookies. No milk. No blue mush (I'll explain that one later, in a future blog). No reindeer tracks meticulously drawn in powdered sugar on the front steps.

No magic.

I'm just not ready for that quite yet.


At 11:49 AM, Blogger anika said...

I'm not ready for that either! I remember being soooo sad when I learned the truth about Santa. And I just want Jacob to believe foreverrrrrrr.

At 3:25 PM, Blogger Ant said...

The thing is... when I was a young 'un, eventually I kinda suspected that Santa didn't exist. However, I also had the strong impression that the extra pressies would dry up if I let my parents know this...

So don't feel bad - just keep lying to them and see who breaks first... :o)

At 12:31 AM, Blogger KOM said...

That was the perfect post for the perfect time.

I hope you are able to drag one more Christmas out of it.

At 4:36 AM, Blogger Squishi said...

hrm. Sometimes it's good to lie, for reasons like you've stated. They will forgive you in time.

As with parents lying, you've just given me a good thing to blog about.

Princesses. Yes. Princesses. I'm gonna go do that now ;)

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Sherri said...

I am glad that you lied. I think that kids grow up to soon. Let them hold onto their childhood a little longer. You're a great mom, Shari. I can tell! :)

At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sorry that you lied. How lucky your kids would have been to have Santa exposed at these early ages.

I fell for Santa until I was 9 and my family went to great lengths to service the myth of his existence. How angry I was at myself for being tricked and I was just as angry at those for lying to me.

When I was very little, I asked why only Santa brought me gifts instead of my immediate family. I really thought my family was mad at me and wasn't getting me gifts that year. I also didn't like the way Santa was held over my head and I felt I had to jump through hoops and earn gifts. Add to it that I thought Santa played favorites. Many abused and neglected kids came up short at best, empty handed at worst. That always bothered me.

I think Santa is more for those who perpetuate the myth than it is for the children. Maybe the parent was not ready to out Santa, but clearly the girls were. What is going to happen (or what has happened) once they find out?

At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had my mother told me that she could not afford to buy gifts when I was little, I would have thought that she didn't want to save money to buy me gifts.

I placed far greater value on gifts she signed from herself. I was moved - I would think, "she actually got me Christmas gifts after all."

Still, I truly wish I had never believed in Santa in the first place.

A college classmate shared an embarrassing moment when he let fly a comment about Santa. His 2nd grade classmates laughed at him and gave him Christmas themed nicknames and ridiculed him for the remainder of the year. More than a decade later, he winced when sharing this and said had he been "Santa Savvy," he never would have been so humiliated and angry at his relatives for lying to him.

Who is Santa really for? You don't need Santa to have a good Christmas. My Christmases improved once Santa was outed and relegated to the fantasy land to which he belongs.

At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anika, do you want Jacob to shave and drive still falling for Santa?

Santa is more for the parents than for the kids who are being tricked.

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Fantastic Forrest said...

Great post. I was sad the year Santa got mythbusted at our house.

My blog post today dealt with the flipside of this question (sort of) regarding what lies you let your children tell, prompted by the new show Lie to Me - consider yourself invited to come visit and share your thoughts on the question I pose. :-)

I'm at Traveling Through Time and Space -


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