Yesterday morning started out like any other school morning, chaotic and not without a few tears (mostly from me). Little did I know that a morning commute can cause such a moral dilemma.
I had finally managed to get everyone in the car, semi dressed and with school bags packed. Just as we headed out the driveway, the oldest (bless him and his curious mind) piped up: “Is Santa real?”
I think I may have turned green and then white and finally that grey colour one turns just before one greets your breakfast for the second time around. The husband and I looked at one another in fear.
We knew this day was coming, but who would have thought it would be so soon? The reason we dreaded it as much is because we, ourselves, are not in agreement on this topic.
The husband is a firm believer in all things concerning the truth and practicality, whereas I am the more airy fairy one. I read to the kidlings and tell them stories about fairies. We hunt ghosts that scare them at night and I can routinely be found chasing a monster from under the bed. That is just who I am. I am the one that has been tasked with their imagination. For me it is important that they believe in fairies, dwarfs and all things magical, and Santa is a very big part of that. Call it my plan to keep them kids for as long as possible. But the husband, in all his practicality (and we love him for that, because someone has to have their feet placed on terra firma) believes that telling him Santa is real is lying.
So how do we answer this fairly innocuous question, of whether Santa is real?
I said yes.
Darling husband said no.
We looked at one another. Each hoping that T-man did not hear the other’s response.
Luckily at that point T-man’s attention waned and we left the matter there.
After the drop off, the husband and I continued the debate. How does one deal with this?
T-man is a very practical child. He wants to know how things works. He doesn’t like change and feels unsettled if we do not follow the normal routine. He is also a big believer in the truth. The husband is worried that by telling him that Santa is real and he finds out the truth the he would feel betrayed. A valid concern.
This question at this particular time is actually quite loaded, since he asked, just a couple of weeks ago, whether Jesus is real. Granted it was done at bedtime, and was possibly more a ploy to drag out the awake time than an actual question, but it caught me sufficiently unawares and took quite a bit of diplomacy. His argument, was that Jesus cannot be seen so how do we know he is real. Luckily I remembered the analogy about the wind and that seemed to appease him.
But now the husband is worried that if he finds out the truth about Santa he will think that since we lied about that we lied to him about Jesus too. And that is a big problem for us and the beliefs we want to instill in our kids.
So where do we go from here?
I realise that if I were to tell him the truth he would feel compelled to share it. The result: I would be lynched at the morning drop off and T-man will never receive another party invite. EVER.
Or do I keep the belief alive and steer all questions in another direction?
Perhaps I should ask him what does he think? A little reverse psychology…should keep the townsfolk with their lit torches and pitchforks at bay. I like it!
What do you reckon?