Thursday, April 12, 2007

Beliefs Falling Like Dominoes

Well, last night was interesting, as these things go. My oldest was very stressed and out of sorts all evening. Finally, I took her into the bathroom to ask what was wrong, as we have a small house, and there is little privacy to be found. She said, "Mom, just tell me." Apparently, the other kids had been telling her one thing (no toothfairy), and she was trying to believe her parents, too. I can understand how that would be stressful. She said she had lost a tooth a week ago, put it under her pillow without telling us, and was just waiting for something to happen that would mean we weren't lying to her. Whoops! So I asked her, if she had a chance to give her child a magical moment, wouldn't she do it? Not good enough, says she. She is a literal child, and needs a flat-out answer. I said, Well, I would give my child magical moments, until she was old enough to try to trap me.... that got a giggle out of her, and we had a nice talk about, since the secret was out, she could help with the next time a tooth needed trading for a gold coin (Sacajawea). I said, personally, I suck at remembering all of my magical commitments, and I could use a little help. She was very impressed with the stash of magical coins, and reassured me I'd done an awesome job. I was just grateful she wasn't crying and disillusioned.

I tucked her in, after swearing her to secrecy. She was so happy! I'm trying not to think about how she has been struggling with her friends at school, even though we all go through these things. I also reminded her not to give kids any revelations who don't understand who does the magic at their house. Everyone has their own pace for trying to trick their parents... hehe. Well, she got up about 20 minutes later and said, "Are you the Easter Bunny?" Whoops. Umm.... yeah, but your dad doesn't know, so shhhhh. That got another smile. You know what's coming, don't you?

This morning, yup, the big question, about St. Nicholas. So I explained that he was real at one time, and parents are simply continuing the magical tradition of a wonderful person. (I'm telling you all this, in case it helps when it's your turn. This all worked very well for me and my daughter) She said, Of all of the things I believed, I believed that one the most. But, really, she wasn't too upset. It helped to make her part of the conspiracy - I mean, magic. My husband also nicely took a moment to explain that all parents try to give their kids these beliefs, and if we hadn't, she would have missed out on a lot of joy her classmates were getting. He was very worried she'd take it personally that we'd, ah, misled her.

I think I handled it all pretty well, and I hope the next one isn't upset when she gets to this age. As I recall, I was around nine, and so was my husband, when we just had to start wondering how those presents and chocolates arrived.


Tala said...

Wow. I hope to emulate you when my daughter goes through this. Mine's only 3, so I have some time, but I'm SO worried about it! Good job, Mom!

Laura B said...

Awww! What a mature little girl you have!

LaurieM said...

I so happy that it went so well for you. Awesome job mom and dad! Give yourselves a pat on the back.

Marcia said...

I know someone whose son was so traumatized when he found out they lied to him about Santa, he was still throwing it in his parents' faces when he was a teen.

Sounds like you have a real steady one. That's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I think it's harder for us to let go than it is for the kids. I'm glad your daughter handled it well.

Nora said...

You're a great mum Carrie. x

AR said...

I think you did the right thing! My time is coming up. :( I hope it lasts a bit longer!!

Marlene said...

My son believed and didn't question. In fact, he argued the pro-Santa side to his nonbelieving friends. We eventually decided to tell him so that his friends would no longer be rolling their eyes at him.

Did he resent the "lies", or the way he had to be told the truth later. No. He (now 23 years old) says the fun of believing in Santa was worth the disillusionment later.

This is a very important point for us right now as our first grandchild was born a month ago. Her daddy used to belong to a religion that did not allow the usual childhood celebrations of birthdays, Easter, Christmas, Valentines Day, etc. How our daughter and her husband would raise their children was something that had to be worked out.

We are overjoyed that they opted for the "FUN" that we shared with our kids. I'll be making an elaborate Christmas stocking for each of our grandchildren. :-)