A couple of nights ago my husband, my 9 1/2-year-old son and I were all eating dinner in the dinning room. It was normal dinner time conversation until my son looks at us very seriously and said “tell me the truth, okay? Don’t lie to me. Is Santa real?” I don’t know why but we had not planned for this conversation, and it caught us both off guard. My husband and I looked at each other not knowing exactly what to say. Do we tell him the truth? He is going to be 10 this summer, I was trying to remember when I found out, I think I was about his age. We were stuck, do we ruin the magic of Santa?
After thinking it all over, I looked at him and told him that indeed there was no Santa, that dad and I are Santa. He didn’t say anything for a while, he just sat there thinking over the past Christmas, and the ones that had come before. He asked “what about the presents?” we told him we bought them, and had special wrapping paper for Santa gifts. Next he started to get mad at us, he said we were liars, and we had lied to him his whole life, then the tears started. I felt horrible, had I just ruined his childhood?
We tried to calm him down but he was down right pissed off at us. What really sent him over the edge was when my husband told him that he was the one who ate Santas cookies. We explained it is what every parent does, when he is a parent he will do the same thing for his children. For some reason that seemed to get through to him, but then the questions came… What about the tooth fairy? In my mind I’m thinking every bad word you can think of, what now? Do we just ruin it all at once? He again said don’t lie to me, so we told him no there was no tooth fairy that again that was us too. Next was the Easter bunny, and we again told him we were the one who gave him Easter baskets. As he sat there dumbfounded by all of this earth shattering information. We talked about it for a while more and in the end he seemed to understand. My husband explained that he can’t tell other younger kids who still believe, he understood. He now was part of the secret that we have to keep alive for all of the other kids who don’t know yet.
I picked him up from school yesterday, less than 24 hours later and decided I would take him to do something fun instead of tutoring. He was so excited to be doing something off our normal schedule. As we were driving to get some frozen yogurt, he pulled out a flyer from school. He told me there was a school dance on Thursday, my understanding is it was a father/daughter mother/son dance. He then proceeded to tell me that he wasn’t sure if he wanted to go, because he wasn’t sure who he would take, you know like a girl! Keep in mind he has NEVER once even mentioned girls, he has never shown any interest in girls until that second!
Trying to get a better understanding of what he meant, I asked him if he would take someone in his class? He said yes, I think so, Sam is the prettiest girl in my class, so I would probably ask her. I’m dying inside, I can’t believe what I am hearing! Did he just say a girl was pretty? This can’t be happening, where was my little boy? Did we really just go from there is no Santa to girls in 24 hours?
I didn’t tell any of this to my husband, I wanted my son to tell him, which he did at dinner last night. My husband is looking at me and kicking me under the table because he couldn’t believe what he was hearing too. He told my husband that he didn’t think he was ready, he didn’t know what people do at dances. We explained that he didn’t have to do anything he wasn’t ready for and in the end he decided he was going to pass on the dance. Maybe next year he said he would be ready, but he wasn’t sure. Seriously…this is now happening a the Hughes house.
I’m sure we will look back on this and laugh, but for now I am still in shock. It is like he grew up over night. No Santa, no tooth fairy, no Easter Bunny, just my not so little boy telling me what girls in his class are pretty. Wish me luck, I think I’m going to need it!