Saturday, December 20, 2003

Growing up

A few years ago, the Boy & I were sitting on the couch. He turned to me & said “I know there’s no such thing as the Tooth Fairy.” This came totally out of the blue, but I was interested in finding out how he figured this out. The Tooth Fairy had made all of her teeth for dollars exchanges at the ex’s house, so I knew I hadn’t screwed anything up. I asked him how he’d come to this conclusion. “Well,” he said, “there’s no such thing as fairies, so there couldn’t be a Tooth Fairy.” I was quite amazed with his reasoning. Then he looked at me & asked, “Is that true?” I had promised myself a long time ago that when he started questioning Santa & the Easter Bunny & the Arbor Day Pixie & the like that I’d be honest with him. So, I told him he was correct.

He sat & thought about it for a minute & then said “I know that the parents put out the gifts at Christmas.” He went on to say that he knew they were helping Santa & also theorized that there were actually four Santa’s – one North, South, East & West Santa - because there was no way that one man could fly all the way around the world in one night. I was pretty impressed that a 7 year old had put this much thought into the whole Santa shtick. He then looked up at me with those big blue eyes, looking like he wanted me to say he was right about the four Santa’s & confirm that the world was still a magical place. I guess I was witnessing one of the milestones in his life - the moment when some of the magic of childhood starts to fade away. It was a hard thing to watch.

I told him that he was right about the parents being behind the whole thing & he thought about it again for a minute, letting it all sink in. Then, in his typical fashion, he told me that he wanted to stay up & see how the whole thing worked – how I got the gifts out under the tree & where they were kept. One of these days, I may let him see what goes on behind the scenes.

Incidentally, he wasn’t the least bit upset about learning the truth. The ex, on the other hand – yeesh! You would’ve thought I’d just ran over her puppy. “Now Christmas is ruined! Why did you tell him?!?” Uh, because I wasn’t going to lie to him, maybe? She even tried to tell him that I was wrong & that there really was a Santa. It was really pathetic to see.

Oh, & the Boy’s response to all of this?

“What about the Easter Bunny?”