This Christmas season, I've had a few conversations with other moms about their child's thoughts on Santa. Recently, I was chided for allowing Andrew to realize that the tooth fairy is just a tradition made up for some reason. (I mean really what is the reason for the tooth fairy tradition?) When Andrew asked me to "tell him the truth" about the tooth fairy back in October, although I was torn in the moment knowing that I would be sapping some magic out of his world, I opted to be honest. After all, I want him to be honest and I don't want to trade on the trust we share. So, blah, blah, blah, I still fibbed and said sometimes the parents help out the tooth fairy. He asked me to not help on this night and then he'd have his answer in the morning. Well, this is where my friends chided me. It was their opinion that I should have really upped my "fairy game" and spread glitter in his room, taken the tooth, left a note, etc. Now, I'm not saying I'm right or they're right...I honestly don't know what is correct here. I do know that someday the magic will lessen around these traditions and that they will fade away completely...until my sons are parents remembering to sneak into their kids' rooms to collect a tooth from under the pillow.
Now, when Andrew understood that the tooth fairy was made up...I was terrified that there would be a domino effect and before December was in full swing he would have connected the dots and given up on Santa. While I strive to allow him to grow up, mature and be who he is going to be, I also find I am surprisingly feeling very bittersweet about the prospect of the boys no longer believing in Santa. In every other aspect, we encourage the boys to be curious, questioning and thoughtful. So, why do we expect the tradition of Santa to be off limits for that same curiosity? Yet, the thought of them learning...well, it makes me feel sad for the loss of this bit of magic. To hope he never stops believing or never figures it out is dumb. However, I'm being hit over the head with how special this time is right now when they do believe.
It is amid this emotional back and forth that I am reveling in the
little things this year: Andrew, unprompted, writing a letter to Santa
on December 1st. Jay reading the word believe on a decoration and
asking "Why do we need to believe?", to which Andrew responded "so we
get presents". Andrew asking to have the iPad in bed with him tonight
so he can use the "Santa tracker" app to know exactly when Santa is
getting to our house so he can sneak downstairs to see what happens.
The boys wanting to bake special cookies just for Santa (even though we
are completely inundated with schleck!, enough to cobble a plate
together for dear old St. Nick). The boys' unbridled joy making those
cookies, with me, for Santa, together...oh gosh, here comes the
emotional wellspring again. I'm about to turn into a puddle of tears
right now...Christmas music on, already reminiscing about our special
time baking in the kitchen just 2 hours ago. Pull it together, Reen!
I'm trying to live in the moment...and right now, that moment is pretty darn perfect! Even if it's the tail end of this specifically magical time in their (and my) life. As I can attest to from my own personal experience, the magic of Christmas doesn't end...it just doesn't.
My dear husband has just walked in the door, home early on Christmas Eve. And so I'm off to bask in the magic of this year, for it is unique and special to this year alone. I guess I just wanted to "write" this feeling down. Merry Christmas!