My daughter’s innocence is one of my favorite things about her. The carefree giggles, worry free play time, and blind belief in things she is told makes me happier than almost anything else. So, last year when I realized she was going to be in 4th grade soon, I knew my days of playing Santa were limited.
Now, when I say my daughter is oblivious to the notion that Santa doesn’t exist, that is an understatement. I try to be a good mom and remember everything, but a few times, I have slipped up and forgotten small details like putting tooth fairy money under her pillow or moving our elves at Christmas time, and even (GASP!) fell asleep and forgot that the Easter bunny was supposed to come before I went to bed. However, when she woke up in tears, creative mom mode kicked in, and the tooth fairy left a note that stated she was afraid of our dog and left her money in a different location. The elves mysteriously wound up in the car before we left for school, and the Easter bunny even tricked the kiddos and left their baskets outside one year. Hailey tells the tales of the dysfunctional characters that visit our house with pride and amusement.
It pains my heart and makes me cringe to think that one day in the near future, she will no longer believe. My husband and I have conflicting opinions on how to handle “the Santa talk.” We have a plan in place and a handwritten letter to give to her whenever she does ask the question BUT what if she doesn’t initiate the conversation? My husband believes we should tell her this year (she had her 9th birthday recently), and I want to wait until she asks and preserve her innocence as long as my mother smothering self can!
He tells me we will do whatever I feel is best, but I also know his points for wanting to ruin her childhood (no overbearing mother hostility here!) are valid. Kids can be cruel, and he is afraid she will be ridiculed by others for not knowing the truth. Also, we both worry and question when her naive blind beliefs become more of a burden to her than a blessing. My love of her innocent outlook is his worst nightmare. It may sound like a deep conversation and that we are turning a simple subject into a larger life issue than it truly is; however, life isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. There are people in this world who abuse the innocent outlooks of others and use it to benefit themselves.
When do we as parents take the steps to aid our children in growing up and empathetically tell them that Santa isn’t a “real” person? And that not all people have good intentions even though they may appear to be a friend.
We are still deciding how/when/if to tell her before she brings it up. But one thing is for sure, until we make a definite decision, we will enjoy every moment of excitement she expresses at bedtime. No matter if it is wondering what mischief her elves will get into while she sleeps, if Santa will bring her what she asked for, or even if the Easter bunny and tooth fairy are going to do something “special” for her, we will be there treasuring the moments we have left of our little girl’s childhood beliefs.
When did you have the “Santa talk” with your children?
About MiMi Herman
MiMi is the definition of the word matriarch to a modern day family. A wife, mother of two children, Hailey (9) and Deuce (3), stepmother of two adult children and a grandmother of three, she has very busy days and manages the chaos with an open mind and glass of wine (or TWO!). She is an agency nurse who travels throughout the Greater New Orleans area helping hospitals staff their units and provide quality care for their patients. MiMi just recently started blogging and sharing her family’s daily adventures after realizing that all moms need a little comedic relief about the challenges that come with the title “mommy.” She enjoys hearing feedback from other moms while also learning from their stories and loves knowing her stories may help others or just help them feel better about their own struggles. MiMi was born and raised in New Orleans and recently moved back to the South shore with her husband and children. To read MiMi’s candid and hysterically entertaining stories, follow her blog, Managed Chaos.
Great job, Mimi! I can’t wait to go check out the blog to hear more about the shenanigans at your house.
She’s 9. She probably knows already and is just pretending to believe because it’s a fun ritual. Or she could be pretending because she wants to get more presents.