The holiday season has come and gone and with it the reminder of years past. I thought about my boys, now 17 and 22, wondering when exactly they decided there was no Santa Claus. I remember when they questioned it, each of them hearing from a school mate or overhearing a conversation adults were having. I recalled with a smile how on each of those occasions we went out of way to prove there was. They believed of course. But when did it come up again for them and how did I miss that milestone? What exactly that milestone should be called is unknown to me. Another lie my mother told me? The spirit of Christmas lived because of my mother? Or simply, just the knowledge that a belief is instilled into us from an earlier age and left for us to disprove or prove it as we grow. Regardless, the years of being the magic of Christmas was fulfilling to me. It allowed me to give a bit of magic to my children in a world that has far too many heartaches and not as many miracles.
I was filled with sadness early on Christmas morning as I recalled my mother’s tearful eyes as she told me there was no Santa Claus. I was seven. I remember this very vividly as I thought that she was going to cry and wondered if she had just found this out. I realize now that due to her financial situation she had no choice but to warn me that there would be no magic under that tree when I awoke the next day. Christmas was her favorite and I am sure she would have been delighted to see the extra effort I made to prevent that same talk through the years. Everyone deserves to believe in a little magic and no parent should have to shatter a child’s world with those words. I would comfort her if she were here and tell her it is okay.
I always made sure the Tooth Fairy was on time, the Easter Bunny came as promised, and that the Boogeyman never made it into the bedrooms or closets. I kissed boo-boo’s and tickled frowns off faces and everything else I thought a good parent did. I taught good manners and made sure that bad behavior wasn’t rewarded with extra attention. I taught how to be a friend and how to choose a good friend. We practiced self-love and made sure that a wide assortment of adventures passed through their lives. We loved, laughed, and lived our days and ended them around a kitchen table. We did everything we could think of and some others that didn’t make the grade. We read stories to them at bedtime, oh how I miss those days! They read to us each evening as they began to read. We took walks and trips and made up stories and we grew up together.
So now I wait. I wait on quietly. I wait for them to find their soul mates, create a family unit, and see if they too will carry on with the lies. That, in my opinion, is the final test to see if the lies I told were hurtful or if they created a belief in magic, if they became a part of the childhood story. Time always gives up the answers.