On Christmas Day, my seven-year-old daughter figured out that Santa is not real. She had a few injuries on the day and the disappointment led her to say that it was the ‘worst Christmas ever’. She kept talking about her discovery and saying that she won’t lie to her kids because she wants them to be able to say thanks to Mom and Dad. She told me a few times that she loved the gifts that I bought for her. I know that she’s processing. She stayed up well past her bed time. She’s thinking back on all the times she believed and how we facilitated the magic.
I feel so heartsore that the magic is gone. But I know that it is time. She is a bright little girl and it would be foolish to perpetuate the lie. I want her to trust me. I want her to be able to discuss anything with me and to get a straight answer. But my heart aches for the loss of innocence and all the unbridled excitement that goes with believing.
I know that it’s part of growing up. I know that I can’t shield her from feeling the pain of the real world. But as a parent I long to keep her safe and happy. I didn’t have a happy childhood and I had to grow up far too fast. I strive to give my kids a better childhood where they can feel free to be kids, to be reckless and carefree for many years. I try to give them the love and support that only a family can give.
I must say that I loved the fact that the handsome charmer in the movie Frozen turned out to be a villain. I thought that was a good lesson for kids, especially for little girls who think that teenage boys will actually ever grow up. Perhaps it’s as good a time as any for them to realise that life is full of challenges and that the goodies don’t always win.
My children bring me a lot of joy and I work really hard to give them a happy life, filled with magic. They are tough to care for especially when I’m recovering from illness and plagued with fatigue. But I work really hard at it and I can feel that it is worth it. They love me unequivocally, irrespective of my faults and what’s going on. They are the only ones in my life who truly love and support me. They are the family that I never had growing up and I’m so grateful to have them in my life.