Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The first one to find out


Really. Not like any of my posts are. But this one would probably scar a kid.

So, what if your kid was the first one to find out that Santa didn't exist?
Would you swear him to secrecy? It is a juicy bit of gossip, a super hot piece of news! How can he resist?

A neighbor kid, named Max, came over to trade Pokemon cards with Dalton the other day. He is in the 4th grade. So that makes him what? 10? Yeah, I think so. So, anyways, I ask him what he wants for Christmas.

"Nothing" he replies.

"Why?" I ask.

"Well, I don't really want anything since I found out that Santa isn't real."

I freeze, my heart starts racing! I am terrified. He can't ruin Santa for Dalton! No way!!

Then I do the following to Max: Shoot him a death glare that says DON'T YOU DARE SAY ANOTHER WORD whilst shaking my head furiously and saying No, no, noooo like he doesn't know what he is saying. He gets the not-so-subtle hint that I give him (that Dalton doesn't know this deep dark secret) so he plays along.

Luckily, Dalton barely notices any of this, as he is completely wrapped up in the land of Pokemon, and which card trade he should engage in next. So, they wrap up their dealings, and Max leaves.

And then, after he goes, I think "What gives me the right?" Max did nothing wrong. And yet, I made him feel like he did. Is this what all the people who knew that the earth was round felt like, before everyone was let in on that little secret? Why should he have to hide it? Why should he be made to feel guilty for simply speaking the truth? And why, as parents, do we perpetuate this lie? That is what it is, right? Either something is true, or it's not...right? Is there a grey area when it comes to the fat bearded one? Is a lie okay, because it is done in the name of consumerism, gingerbread, and egg nog? Why not have a big pink bunny that hops around and delivers eggs, or a wee little leprechaun that messes up your house at night? Oh wait, we have those too. I know, it's all in good fun... Who am I to be such a scrooge? But Poor Max...I know how he feels. In the dog house for simply possessing something...the truth.

Who knew it could be so dangerous?


Beth B. said...

This is a subject about which I feel strongly. Perhaps because I grew up in a house that had one single philosophy regarding Santa...he who declares him not real, does not get a stocking or Santa presents. Guess what? 28 years later, I am firm beleiver in Santa.

When I first "found out", I remember asking my mom about it and all she said was that you never know. And I really appreciate this because, Santa IS real and always will be (in a way) and isn't that fun?

Sara said...

We have ONE more year to decide what to do about Santa. It is a HUGE moral dilema for me. Is it right or not? Do I run the risk of ruining another family's tradition? Do I play along for the fun that it is? I don't know either.

But.....I know, your family is going to have it's best Christmas to date, because Baby Garrett is part of your family now. Merry Christmas!

Kati said...

We told Jackson the "truth" this year. The kid started questioning it all when he was 4! I tried and tried to continue with the lie, but we finally just gave in and told him. He is almost 10 and in the 4th grade. I threatened him with his life, not to tell any neighbor kids or his younger brother and sister. It has been fun having him in on the secret this year though. He helped me set out all the gifts for the younger kids and I felt like we share a special bond in playing Santa together. It is a tough call. I was worried that he might say something to another kid and make their mom angry...but I realized that I can't control what comes out of my kid's mouth {unfortunately}. It has been a battle I have struggled with since Jackson was a 4 year old kid. Little punk. I guess, just take all the years you can get with them as "believers".