Last year, I had a very serious conversation with Jack about Santa. If you go back and reread it, you will see what I said versus what I wish I had said.
Let’s just say, the other night I got my wish.
Once again, it didn’t happen as expected. In fact, I precipitated the conversation in a very unfortunate way. After a frustrating moment with a naughty kitty, I muttered something under my breath about her needing to stop her bad behavior or I was going to find her a new home, Jack started crying. (For the record, he was not supposed to hear such crazed mommy mutterings.) I tried to calm him down and explain that I didn’t mean it, I was just frustrated. Out of nowhere he proclaimed, “I know exactly what I’m going to ask Santa for this Christmas. I’m going to ask him to bring back all the pets I know who have died in the last year. Jack Dog, Roxy, Squee. I want them all back.”
Me: “Baby, you know Santa can’t do that, right?” I whispered softly into the top of his head.
Jack: “But Santa is magic, and he can do anything!” Jack practically wailed.
Me: “Kids, we need to have a talk about Santa.”
I told them about Saint Nicholas. I talked about the spirit of giving. I assured them that believing in the magic of the season keeps the holiday vibrant. I don’t want them to lose that magical feeling just because there isn’t a white-haired man in a flying sleigh who distributes presents to each kid around the world. I used reason. I used passion. Jack initially bawled, but then seemed soothed by the idea that he can personally have a role in perpetuating the spirit of the holidays.
Me: “Do you guys understand?”
Jack: “Yes. It’s better to give than receive. And I can make the holidays bright by giving to those I love.”
Me: “That’s right! Colin?”
Colin: “Yeah, just one question, mom. What about the reindeer? Are they real?”
At least there weren’t any questions about the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. One burst bubble at a time.