Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The big reveal

Last night at dinner the girls relentlessly sprayed us with questions about Santa. The brunette twin just kept asking questions in a rapid fire style. We couldn't even answer them because she was moving so quickly. She went on and on and on. The blond twin threw in her own questions whenever her sister gave her a chance. The questions made it clear the girls discussed their questions and possible answers before dinner.

This had been building for some time now. The brunette twin has been pushing us to tell them the truth about Santa. The girls attend a school that resembles the United Nations. Their non-Christian classmates were happy to tell them that Santa wasn't real. We avoided a direct answer because we didn't think the girls were ready. Tonight we answered their questions. Within a few minutes, it was clear the girls had questions, but they didn't like our answers.

It's not like we were going to let them go much longer without talking about Santa. Daddy and I just talked about this last night. I told him I would talk to the girls when we took down the Christmas decorations. We recognized how lucky we were to keep the magic alive this long.

The blond twin was heartbroken. She cried and cried as she sat at the table. I asked her if she wanted to sit on the couch and talk. She said she wanted to be alone at the table to talk. She didn't want to sit in my arms and talk. The blond twin went from topic to topic asking questions she didn't really want answered. Tears streamed down her face as she kept saying that she didn't want to believe it.

The brunette twin sat quietly. She knew, but didn't want to know. She said, "I wanted you to tell me I was wrong." She asked a few questions and then we talked about what comes next. Would we still make cookies? Would we still decorate? Would we still have a big Christmas morning celebration? She wanted to know how this grown-up knowledge might change our family traditions.

We explained to them that nothing changed for our family. They still needed to write letters to Santa if they wanted presents. They still had to make cookies to deliver to the neighbors. We would still decorate like we lived at the North Pole. They actually had a new Christmas responsibillity. They were Santa's elves. It was their responsibility to keep the Christmas magic alive for the younger kids.

I knew it was coming, but the whole thing felt like someone died. I thought I'd feel a sense of relief that we didn't have to avoid the questions any more. Instead it feels like their childhood is over and that makes me sad, especially during the happiest time of the year.

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