I’m posting over at Writing In Pencil today! (Navigating the age old dilemma about Santa. To tell or not to tell?…)
The tears were different this time. Silent. Each one rolled down Kelel’s cheek like something deep inside broke again for the first time.
It all started innocent enough. We sat around the dinner table eating God knows what. 4 kids giggled and squirmed. I reminded each and every one that yes, you do need to eat it all if you want dessert. No, PB&J was not an option. Dad was traveling for work. I’m fairly certain I let out an audible sigh after each redirect.
And then the little one said, “Hey guys, I lost a tooth today!”
“Wow, that’s the second one this week!” I mused. “I know what you’re going to want for Christmas. Looks like Santa and the tooth fairy will be quite busy.”
She smiled a wide toothy grin as she explored each new vacancy in her mouth with the tip of her finger. Her eyes widened. She stared at me for a second and decided the question worth asking…
“Come on, Mom. We all know you and Dad are the tooth fairy. Right?”
I smiled and shrugged.
“Humph. Well, I know you’re the tooth fairy. And I also know that reindeer can’t fly.” Pause. “Is Santa real?”
All eyes were firmly on me.
Again, I shrugged and playfully raised my eyebrows. “Honey, what makes you say that?” I turned the proof of evidence back on her.
Apparently that was the cue for the other three to burst onto the scene.
“Senait! What are you saying?? Of course Santa is real!!” they protested.
I hadn’t noticed Kelel up until that point. I was just trying to stay one step ahead of the Santa Inquisition. I wasn’t sure where this whole dialogue was headed, but I wished my trusty partner had been seated in his chair next to me. I don’t love navigating these tenuous conversations alone. Should I keep up the charade? Should I relent and just “tell the truth?” My mind raced on the inside while my eyes attempted to remain playful and calm on the outside.
Why did my heart beat like we were talking about the birds and the bees? I mean, this was only about the possible existence of Santa. Or was it?