Monday, January 31, 2011

She knows the truth

My 7-year-old daughter has just passed a huge milestone.

She now KNOWS.

Why?  Because 7-year-olds talk at school. Then they come home and ask their mommies if what their friends say is true.  And then their mommies have to figure out on the spot how to respond to their questions.

No, no, we didn't talk about THAT.  Hopefully I have a few years before THAT talk.

We talked about HIM - the SOS - the Secret of Santa - of more accurately the Secret of No Santa.

Julie's belief in Santa is pretty interesting to me.  We never pushed it much when she was little.  She really didn't wholeheartedly believe until she started Kindergarten.  Then, presumably because every other 5-year-old in class believed, she came home a full believer.  Even up to this year, she truly believed.  She got the email from Santa (that mommy set up via a website), she wrote Santa a letter and got one back (also a product of mommy's imagination), she saw all 3 Santa Clause movies - and through it all fully believed that the man in red was bringing her her heart's desire.

All it took was one friend telling her on Friday that Santa wasn't real to plant that doubt in her mind. 

You see, I'm fine with her knowing the truth about Santa, but I don't want the same thoughts to cross her mind about God.  I have been careful over the years not to equate Santa with God.  I've made sure not to tell her that Santa is always watching her.  Only God has that capability.  We've made sure she knew Santa cannot be more than one place at a time (he's just really fast).  Only God has that capability.

Because if she learns that Santa isn't real and he has characteristics of God, will she equate those two in her mind and think that God isn't real?  I don't know. 

Knowing the truth about Santa is actually pretty liberating for me.  I can talk to her more openly about why other kids get bigger and "better" presents for Christmas.  I can tell her about the great deals I got on her gifts (surprisingly, she is very excited about good deals - my child all the way). 

The truth is we had a really good conversation about it.  My goal was to make her come to her own conclusion about the subject and she did.  Her biggest concern was whether she would still get what she asked for.  After assuring her that we had always gotten her the gift she wanted in the past, and that was not likely to change, she seemed fine with the knowledge.  We also discussed how David still believed and how we would keep playing the game for him, and not stop his fantasy until he's ready to.

What about you?  Do your children still believe?  What age did you learn the truth about Santa?

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