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?