Sunday, December 14, 2014

Trying to keep the fading magic from fading

J is in sixth grade. She is of an age when most kids do not believe in Santa. In fact, I would guess in her class pretty much no one does; most kids gave that up in fourth grade, some as late as fifth grade. But J? Well, on my birthday last week, after she found out there was no elf that flew away each night and came back every morning (because she straight-out asked me, and I will not lie), I figured she might have stopped believing in the fat guy in the red suit. But she is my daughter, so I knew there was an even better chance that she figured that just because one thing was not true, that did not necessarily mean the other mythical creatures were not real. [When, sometime between fourth and fifth grade, I found out there was no Santa, I refused to ask my parents about the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy. Even though I knew they probably were not real either, I decided to hold onto hope and get one more holiday out of it.]

Yesterday, I took J to the Santa breakfast at our church because good friends of ours were going. J loves their toddler and preschooler, and those two pretty much worship her, so J was only too happy to go. She went up with the kids as they sat on Santa's lap, and she stood next to Santa while the two told Santa what they wanted. Later, I told J that I thought Santa was kind of pushy when our friends' little girl said she wanted an Elsa doll, and Santa kept asking her what else she wanted. Then J said to me, "It's not like he's the real Santa"

So that comment leads me to believe that she still is holding out a little glimmer of hope that just because an elf does not go back and forth to the North Pole nightly that does not mean that Santa can't pull off his feat of visiting the houses of millions in one night. I thought about coming clean, and I always said I would never lie to J about it. But unless she directly asks me, I think I will keep quiet. Worth noting is that last year (or maybe it was the year before) she asked if there was a Santa. I replied in my best teacher answer, "What do you think?" J answered that she wanted to believe. And I told her then that she should believe, and that I believe in the magic of Christmas. I threw in something about the "Yes, Virginia" story, and that was that. I did not lie, so I could live with that.

I realize there is a chance that she could talk about it at school, and someone could tease her, and I do not want that to happen. And maybe she does not even believe still.

But I guess I just want to hang on to that last little bit of magic, because I know there are a lot of years in between the wonder and belief you have during childhood until you get to the grown-up version of magic, if you even get there at all.

Here's hoping you can find some magic!

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