Keeping the magic alive

It’s been a long week. Keeping up with our Advent calendar, holiday parties, packing for our trip back to New Jersey. Tonight, V, our daughter, offered to stay awake to help me finish cleaning the house and pack and do laundry. After I put the others to bed, I joined her in the schoolroom. I have actually been looking for an opportunity to talk to her one on one, it’s more difficult than you’d think. After some general conversation, I brought up the topic that we’ve discussed before, maybe two years ago: Santa Clause. I started “So V, a while back, you had some questions for Dad and I about Santa. Do you remember?” “Yes” “Well, I was wondering, have you decided what it is exactly that you’d like to believe?” She hesitated. She said Jennifer (one of her friends) told her that she helps her parents move their elf [on a shelf] around for her siblings, but she’s still not convinced that all that she believes isn’t real. There’s just no way “mom and dad could pull off the things that Jerry [our elf] does, or Santa does for that matter.” But still, she suspects something’s up. I asked ” How did you feel when Jennifer told you that? Did you feel sad? Suspicious? Angry? Did you feel like you want the chance to do the things that Jennifer does?” “No, Mom,” she said. “I don’t really like talking about that stuff with Jennifer because it feels like we’re different. I feel childish.” To my surprise, there was no shame in what she said. She continued. “The fun is in the magic and the magic should be kept alive for the kids, and in case you haven’t noticed, I’m still a kid, and I’m enjoying the magic.”

Astonished, I would have been satisfied with the conversation ending right there. But I had a point that I had to get to. Since V and J won’t be home for Christmas this year, I won’t be there to personally keep the magic alive (they’ll be with their father and family); I tried to find the words to warn her of the possibility that Jacob may also become suspicious when she politely interrupted me with something to say herself.

“Don’t worry, mom,” she said. “I’ll protect Jacob’s belief in Santa.”

These children amaze me everyday.

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