Truth Seeker

My son is developing into a truth seeker.  That would be great, if I wanted to be completely honest with him about everything, but I don’t.

A few years ago, he was seriously questioning the existence of Santa.  He didn’t seem convinced by our “those are just his helpers” explanation when we went to get his picture taken or “the fire doesn’t hurt him because he is magic” talk.  He had questions and he wanted answers that made sense.

Why don’t the reindeer leave droppings?

Why are you okay with this stranger in our house when we are sleeping?

Our alarm must be faulty if HE can get in?

He was too young NOT to believe.  He was so serious in other parts of his life that I wanted him to stay childlike as long as possible. Last Christmas, I knew that our magical fly-down-the-stairs-to-see -if-he-had-come moments were numbered.  However, I didn’t know that he was also considering the improbability of the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy! It would make sense, but I wasn’t prepared for what happened next.

After reading and completing his bedtime ritual, last night my precious TBP came out and asked one of those game changing questions.

Please tell me the truth…Are you guys the Tooth Fairy?

Without hesitation, Diane said, “Yes.  We are the ones that take your teeth and trade them for money.”  She shared with him that other children his age might still believe and that it wasn’t his responsibility to set them straight.  He seemed to understand.

Thank you for being honest.  When I lose my little tooth, will you take it like normal but then give it back to me?  I think it is lucky.

After he was completely asleep, Diane crept downstairs and headed to the kitchen.  I followed her and watched her get a cold Snapple off the shelf and open it.  She had the drink in her hand and closed the refrigerator and then casually filled me in.  He asked about the Tooth Fairy, he wanted to know, and she told him the truth.

I stood there in shock. I made her repeat it.

“What do you mean?!  He is just eight years old!”  I continued to bombard her with rhetorical questions about her decision to share such a truth.  My stomach hurt and I realized that my angst was because it meant that he was one step closer to being that “big boy” that he always tells me about.  I had already freaked out when I realized that he was no longer a primary aged student anymore but instead he was an intermediate student.  We took out the booster seat out of the car and that was hard enough, but this?  I felt robbed.

“He is going to be SO disappointed tomorrow!”  (He wasn’t.)

“What if he asked about the Easter Bunny?   Would you have blurted that one out too?”  (Yes. She said that she would have told the truth about the bunny)

“Don’t you think that this was a discussion that we should have before you started sharing all the secrets?!” At this point, I was crying.  Not the ugly sobbing cry but the kind that might show up when you want time to slow down a bit.

She thought it was no big deal.  She got her drink and sat down in the living room to satisfy her Candy Crush craving and was ready to move on.

I was stuck.  I stared at her and was shocked that she could turn her attention to that iPad so quickly.

Before I could fully enjoy any reality TV that evening, we were going to have a discussion about Santa.  She agreed that tomorrow night she would not tell about Santa.  But she reminded me that sometime soon, he would ask and he wouldn’t be convinced by our Internet Santa tracking pictures anymore.

So friendly readers…What have you done about keeping these types of secrets?  Is it terrible that I want my boy to believe a bit longer?

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6 thoughts on “Truth Seeker

  1. Not at all! I think we all want to keep our little ones little for as long as possible. 8 seems to be the age when most begin to figure these secrets out, but it depends upon the kid. I think you should be very proud of him for accepting the truth so well! I dread the day when my 6 year old starts to question us. For right now, we still think Daddy’s truck is a real transformer, but I know it isn’t going to last long. :0(

  2. I kinda feel like if he asks you outright he deserves not to be intentionally deceived. 8 is a fine age for managing Truth, and I should imagine that if you pull the wool over his eyes and fool him, he may well take that worse than the Big Reveal and the knowledge that there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a bit of ‘nice pretend’ around the subject.

  3. I want my daughter to believe. She wants to as well, which is why I think, smart as she is, she has never asked me directly.

    My theory is, if she believes in magic that is concrete (she can sit on Santa’s lap and see pictures of him) then maybe, when she is older she will believe in magic that is not as concrete; she will have faith and hope

    I want her to always have faith and hope

    I keep the magic alive for her, and … I don’t know. Sometime, I think there is a Santa.

    True Story:

    Last year, she wanted a DSI (she was ten years old) I could not afford a new one, but a friend in another state came upon a perfectly new used one, and bought it.

    This was, of course, days before Christmas. My daughter believed with all her heart she would be getting the DSI, cause she’d written the letter and Santa had never let her down; ever.

    My friend was working late that day, so put her teen daughter on the task of mailing the DSI to us, with faith and hope it would arrive on time

    Three days later, Dec 23rd, it still had not arrived. I went to the post office, but there was no way to track the thing

    My friend called asking about the package, fingers on both hands crossed. She jokingly said that she hoped her daughter had in fact sent it to the correct address – a comment that gave us both pause, so the teen was asked. She had written down her mother’s instructions and still had the paper, “Yes, I sent it to 15209 ….”

    Oh NO … I reminded my friend, we live at 15920 …..

    Sigh

    On Dec 24th, I put cookies in the mail box for our letter carrier as I do each year.

    I saw her about an hour later, and took out her ‘thank you for the treats’ note along with our mail. About 6:00 that evening, I thought I saw her truck again, just caught a flash of white out of the corner of my eye, and couldn’t figure what she might be doing back in our neighborhood … but faith and hope are things I have, so I went to check the mail box again and found the package I’d been waiting for.

    The DSI, which my daughter found under the tree the next morning.

    Not only had the teenager used an incorrect address, she had used my child’s name not mine. My daughter doesn’t get a lot of mail, so I can’t say if the carrier had ever heard it … but somehow… that box arrived at the post office, someone guessed about the address, someone guessed about the name, the carrier was willing to drive all the way back to our house at the dinner hour… when I think about the number of hands that box passed through, people that did not know us, yet … it ended up in my daughter’s hands on Christmas morning

    So, yah, I believe in Santa 🙂

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