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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No Longer a Believer

Picture the scene: I am sitting on the floor, playing with Zach and asking him (though I know he won't answer) what he would like for Santa to bring him for his first Christmas. Evan, who is sitting beside us, erupts into giggles. I ask him what is so funny. He doesn't answer at first, but after some prodding, he whispers, " We have to keep up appearances, you know, for Zach." I ask him what he is talking about, and his reply was, "Zach still believes."

So we started this whole conversation in which my 9-year-old baby boy confessed that he no longer believed in Santa. When I asked him where all of his Christmas presents come from, he told me he knows I buy them. "Not Daddy because he doesn't work", he said. I first tried to deny this, then told him that the money I earn is Daddy's money, too. That Daddy works taking care of him and of Zach so I can work. He bought this, but still denied Santa Claus.

"Mother, do you really expect me to believe that one man goes to all of those houses, all over the world, in one night??? It would take him all night just to get here from the North Pole."

First of all, "Mother"????? When did I stop being Mommy or Mama and start being Mother??? Secondly, I tried to explain that Santa is magic, to which I got this reply:
" No way. Magic is just an illusion. And besides, like I said, he couldn't posibly get to those houses. He would have to travel at the speed of light and no human can do that."
It became apparent that I was not going to win this one. And then I became sad.
My baby is growing up too fast.
It isn't that I am so distraught over Santa. I am sad over the loss of innocence. The loss of wonder at the holiday season. He will no longer give that little gasp of surprise and have that little spark of amazement when he sees the gifts under the tree on Christmas morning He won't hurry to the plate of cookies left for Santa, just to check if they had been eaten. And for him, from now on, Christmas will no longer be magical. He'll know I worked to pay for those toys. He'll know John and I stayed up late wrapping them for him. He may even say he is too old to visit Santa and get the cute annual low-quality photo we get to chronicle that year's holiday season. I can literally see him grow in those photos over the past nine years. And because we are not a religious family, Christmas will just be about gifts.
(Image: Evan at 2 years: when he still believed, when I was still "Mommy", when Christmas was still magical, and his innocence was still intact.)

1 comment:

  1. OMG! I feel for you and I'm scared at the same time. My oldest boy is 9...what if he feels the same way? Oh no....