Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hell Week Post #2: The Day We Crushed The Ginger's Innocence

A few days ago, I posted the first of 3 in a series I'm calling "Hell Week", chronicling one of the craziest weeks I've ever had. Post #1, We Aren't Trying to Ruin Our Kids' Lives, I Swear was all about how last week, Hell Week, started out on Monday with Hubby and I making the biggest decision ever for our kids- the decision to homeschool them.

Now we're skedaddling on to Tuesday of last week, or the day that will forever be known as The Day We Crushed The Ginger's Innocence.

Yeah, we know why you are winking, big guy. We'll
keep your secret, until our kids are 10, apparently.
I was 10 when I asked my dad about the true existence of Santa Claus. I had done my research, presented him with evidence as we were wrapping presents one afternoon, and gave him a stern, "So, Dad, is Santa real?"

Without skipping a beat in the wrapping process, he said, "Nope. The idea of Santa is real, but as far as a fat guy with reindeer delivering presents, he's not real. We parents just keep the idea of Santa alive for kids." 

Fair enough, and props to my dad for an amazing explanation, right?

Hubby was 10 when he was told about Santa, as well. He had younger brothers, so his parents told him so he could help with the Christmas Eve shenanigans at night.

The Girl apparently figured everything out the Christmas she was 9 years old, but didn't mention it until the following Christmas, when she was 10. I guess Santa left a receipt for some Webkins laying around and she found it; forgetful Santa...

This year, The Ginger is 10. We're having to do a small Christmas, so the fact that half of our
Christmas budget was going to a present we didn't even get credit for was a little painful this year especially.

So, we made yet another huge decision in our youngest's life. We weren't going to flat out tell him about Santa, but if he figured it out (which, according to family history, we were due for it to happen anyway), we'd tell him the truth.

Scratch that. We'd employ The Girl to break the news to him and we'd follow up with any questions he had. That's what big sisters are for, right?

So Tuesday evening, with my sickness starting to wear me down (that's all covered in Hell Week Post #3, coming soon), Hubby needed me to drive him to pick his car up ($700 brake job that was absolutely necessary- now you see one of the reasons why we're having a small Christmas, eh?). He and I left the house, and I got a text message from The Girl.

"The Ginger just told me he thinks the Tooth Fairy is you. Should I tell him everything now?"
This is what I pictured
in my head, "Red team, GO!"
Pic Courtesy

On the inside, I was screaming, "Go red team, GO!! Now's our chance!!" The Tooth Fairy is in the same family as Santa Claus, so I felt that was an icebreaker for The Ginger. On the outside, I calmly told her that now would probably be the perfect time to have a brother-sister chat with him.

It went nothing as planned. The Girl used the speech my dad gave me, and The Ginger came back with, "I'm so telling Mom that you are lying to me when she gets home. You're the biggest liar ever, and Mom is going to ground you." 

The Girl gave me a heads up via text that the shit had hit the fan, and the plan had failed miserably- Red team was killed in action.

I arrived home, head pounding, weak as crap as the Zombie Virus started overtaking me, and The Ginger spared me no mercy, telling me all about what The Girl had told him and asking if I was going to ground her.

I remained silent.

The Ginger understood the silence, and immediately burst into tears. He tried to run, but The Girl caught him.

I went up to him, wrapped my arms around him, and had him sit down on the stairs with me. I waited for him to slow the crying a bit, and we started talking.

Me: Okay honey, I was 10 when I found out; your dad was 10; your sister was actually 9, but she waited until she was 10 to tell us she knew. You are 10, so we figured that you would have figured it out by now. I feel horrible right now that you are crying; I honestly thought you knew, that's why we told The Girl it was okay to tell you if you asked.
The Ginger: Well, I still thought he was real.
Me: You never had any kind of suspicion that maybe he wasn't real?
The Ginger: Well yeah. Last year, Santa used the same wrapping paper that we already had.
Me: Okay, so you started to doubt things?
The Ginger: Kinda, I guess.
Me: Okay. Are you crying because you are sad, or is part of you scared that you think you won't get as many presents as you normally do because you won't get stuff from Santa now?
The Ginger: Both, I think.
Me: Well, honey, you'll still get presents, they'll just be from us now, instead of saying "From Santa" on them.
The Ginger: Oh, okay. So, is Santa just one huge lie, then?

I want to pause right here for a second, and say how thankful I am for modern television and movies. Without them, this next part wouldn't have been possible.
Thanks for your help, Dwayne!

Me: No, he's not. You know how, in the movie "Hercules" with The Rock that we just watched, Hercules was just a man, but the kid that told the stories about Hercules made the stories bigger and better so people feared Hercules, and to keep the legend of Hercules alive?
The Ginger: Yeah.
Me: That's what happened with Santa Claus. Hundreds of years ago, there was a guy named St. Nicholas who was known for giving gifts. He was a mortal man, so eventually he died. The people around him didn't want the idea of him to die, so they started carrying on many of the traditions he did when he was alive. Stories were told, and embellished with huge details to keep the magic of Saint Nicholas alive, and that's how we got the reindeer, and North Pole and stuff like that. The man was real, but he couldn't live forever, so we parents carry on his traditions for our kids at Christmas time to keep the magic of Christmas alive.

I held my breath to see whether or not The Ginger would absorb this information, or vomit it right out of his innocent system.

The Ginger: Oh. You know, that makes a lot of sense, Mom.

Oh holy crap, thank you!! I breathed a sigh of relief, tears began welling up in my eyes, and I have The Ginger the biggest hug ever.

He had more questions, of course, including listing off all of the Santa presents from the last few years to double check they came from Hubby and I, so we sat on the stairs for a few more minutes and talked about everything. We even touched on the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny.

He was most bummed to realize that Hubby and I were the ones that ate the cookies, drank the milk or eggnog, and wrote the notes every Christmas Eve. It's funny to see what kids fixate on when you drop bombs in their direction.

After that, he wanted to watch "The Tooth Fairy" with The Rock in it, because apparently humorous irony is not lost on my child.

I can't stop laughing...
I'm not sure, had I really known that he still truly believed, if we would have gone through with our plans this year. I really thought he had figured things out, but maybe hadn't said anything because he thought he wouldn't get awesome Santa presents anymore. That was only half of it. The other half involved me crushing my kid's childhood innocence, the part of him that still believed.

You'd think, with who I am, and what I believe, that something like this would have never happened in my house. I still believe dragons and unicorns once existed, and fairies steal my keys and put them into the freezer every now and then (couldn't have been me, in a daze, no...). Hubby and I firmly believe the Zombie Apocalypse will happen one day, and I believe a person can change their entire life with just positive thinking.

But Santa isn't a real person. What the hell, right? Talk about confusing a kid, because I know I did when The Ginger started listing off everything he could...

The Ginger: The Tooth Fairy, regular fairies, the Easter Bunny, dragons, unicorns, zombies? Are any of them real?
Me: Fake, real, fake, real, real, will be real one day.
The Ginger: What? Fairies, unicorns, zombies, and dragons are real, but Santa, the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny aren't?
Me: Uh, yeah, that's what I believe, at least. It's complicated.

Crushing my kid's innocence on a Tuesday, after telling them on Monday that they are being homeschooled can only be a part of Hell Week. Stay tuned for Hell Post #3, where I tell how I'm on my way to becoming a medical marvel.

I'm just glad I survived this week, seriously.


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8 comments:

  1. Aww hon... (((hugs))) I don't even have the heart to make a smartaleck remark. Ouch.

    A couple things that carried us through this stage- My mom, when my time came, told me that Santa was "the spirit of Christmas". That carried me through another year of believing before I got my head fully around the truth. Might wanna pull out the old Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus... Maybe not yet, you don't want to confuse him, but soon, so he can see this as a transition from believing into becoming one of those who guards the flame of belief for younger kids.

    Guardians is an awesome movie, and so is The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0267675/

    Yep, sounds like you've had a heckofa week.

    My friend Jim says that "Bad things don't happen to writers; just great anecdotes."

    Hoping you have some less-eventful weeks coming up.

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    1. Thanks! We've seen the Guardians movie; we love it! He seems to be a little better now that he realized he can help buy different things for people's stockings, lol. If that works, right?

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  2. Hell week omg great shares. I don't know what age my daughter figured it out but it was never spoken out loud and stll hasn't and she will be twenty. Granted I am sure the fantasy has long been gone, she is aware we don't ruin it for the younger ones and every year we make a "list " to send to Santa and even leave some cookies out which he truly adores lol!!! Ahhhh Santa the good the bad and the ugly truths ho ho ho

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    1. Yeah, I told The Ginger it's part of his duty now to keep the dream alive for younger kids. He seemed good with that, lol.

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  3. Well, this hit me in the funny bone & the feels. Dammit.
    Good thing laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.

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    1. =) Glad I was able to do that for you... I think. That was a good thing right? Lol. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! ;)

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  4. If I remember correctly, I came to the realization thanks to my "lazy santas." I came home to discover what I believed to be the Holy Grail of receipts. I scanned through the recepit hoping to find some snack purchases, but instead found a wide array of other goodies. And like The Ginger, I too noticed the wrapping paper. It just so happened to be the same of which was stored in various spaces or closets throught the house. I was a little heart broken but came to terms unwrapping my goodies on Christmas morning.

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    1. "Lazy Santas" must run in the family... ;) Muah!!

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