Lies and other truths
Young children will believe most anything you tell them. The line between lying to them and creating magic with them is a fine one.
I had thought, prior to giving birth to SJ, that I wouldn’t perpetuate the myth of Santa Claus when I got around to having a kid. My child, I determined, would appreciate being told the truth.
So, I told her the scoop about Santa early on. I didn’t make a big deal out of it. I asked her, “Do you think Santa is real?” Not missing a beat, she replied, “Of COURSE, Mommy!” I furthered, “What if I told you that Santa isn’t real and it’s all a big game that grownups play with their kids?”
She shot me that “uh, ok crazy lady” look. I can’t blame her, of course, the rest of the world is telling her a completely different story. There is an entire established system and industry to back the story up. She was already a believer.
This brings me to my dad. If you know me, it will not be shocking to hear that my father had a reputation of being a prankster. Right, I know, the apple didn’t fall far.
Now, my dad died when I was 10 and I stopped believing in Santa at 8. Still, well into my twenties, I thought that nearly all the children in America left beer and cookies for the large gift-giving guy in the red suit. I was only vaguely aware of the “milk and cookies” tradition. I can hear Chip, my dad, say, “We don’t normally give away Daddy’s beer, but it’s ok this time.”
So, I did what all good children do and I carried on this tradition with my own girl. After all, it’s not all that absurd in the grand scheme of absurd things. And, if you’re wondering, our “Santa” didn’t imbibe, “he” simply dumped the beer down the drain year after year.
As for pushing the Santa agenda hard with her, I didn’t. Well, not really. We pretended together until she no longer wanted to and then we stopped. She wanted to believe and who am I to strip her childhood of that?
Merry “Thursday,” y’all,
— Rusty Blazenhoff