Welcome to my Weblog!
Welcome to 1 Mother 2 Another! To read my most recent weblog entries, scroll down. To read entries from one category, click the links at right. To read my journey from the beginning, click here. To find out more about me, click here.
Top 5s
Short on time? Click here to go to my Top 5s Page - links to my top five recommendations in every category from Breastfeeding Sites to Urban Living Solutions.

Being A Truth-Teller In A Fairy-Tale World

Last week I was at a mom’s group with several friends, and as we sat around chatting and catching up one mom started telling a cute story about her six-year-old and a recent lunch table experience.

It seems that this little girl – we’ll call her Susie – had a friend who, at six years old, insisted that Santa is not real. Susie became quite concerned, and several other kids at the table started to panic. As the children argued and began yelling at the poor “Santa basher”, the teacher came over to see what was going on. By this time, at least one child was near tears at the thought that Santa was not real, so the teacher began to calm the child, assuring him that Santa is, indeed, real. Unconvinced, the student continued to cry.

“So what happened?” one mom asked interestedly.

My friend chortled. “Well, the kids were so worried that the teacher finally called several lunch ladies over who also assured the children that this one child was wrong and Santa is, indeed, real, and everyone finally calmed down. I just thought it was so sweet how all the grown-ups rallied around those poor kids and reassured them!” she finished, smiling, and the conversation turned to other topics.

I sat there in silence, thinking about how that poor six-year old who insisted Santa isn’t real must have felt to have been told by countless adults that she was at best mistaken, and at worst, a liar.

Because that would have been my kid.

Cora found out almost two weeks ago that Santa isn’t real – she reasoned it out for herself, went to the library to research flying reindeer (apparently there are none), and asked me point-blank. We had a great talk about it and she’s totally fine with the fact that Santa’s not real – that we do the work, loving on people who need some extra love this time of year, and asking for nothing in return.

In fact, Cora’s felt in her bones that the Santa thing wasn’t quite right since last Christmas, she said, and I can see the relief on her face to have finally had all her hunches confirmed. Life once again makes sense, and she feels so validated to have figured this thing out and to know truth from tradition.

Except when other people confuse her.

Now, I’m not saying that Cora should stand on the rooftops and scream, “There is no Santa! Your parents are lying to you!” We’ve had a very looong conversation about this, talking about how each family’s traditions are different and we respect whatever they are, and it’s up to a child’s parents to determine what they tell their kids. And we spent a torturous half-hour role-playing, with me being a “friend” who insists Santa is real and Cora practicing gently affirming her friend before changing the subject.

When we started, the conversation went something like this:

Me (as friend): “Hey, Cora, guess what – Santa is real!”

Cora: “No he’s not.”

But by the end of our practice session it looked a lot more like this:

Me (as friend): “Hey, Cora, guess what- Santa is real!”

Cora: “Are you excited about Santa and Christmas morning? It sounds like your family has so many great holiday traditions! What are you hoping to get for Christmas?”

So Cora and I have definitely had the “Don’t spoil it for everyone else” conversation, I promise. And she’s not setting out to ruin other people’s holidays, I swear; she’s had discretion drummed into her and knows how she’s supposed to handle the topic.

But on the other hand, I see my poor kid who figured this out all by herself. At six years old. Not by spying on us, or “catching us in the act”, but by using logic and deductive reasoning and by research, for heaven’s sake. She felt something wasn’t right and she dug deep and figured it out.

And I can’t imagine what it must be like to be her age, to have worked so hard to find the truth, and then to have every adult she talks to about this shoot daggers at her and insist she’s wrong – or lying. I imagine her world must feel a little off-kilter sometimes.

I asked Cora earlier this week how she feels about all the Santa stuff now that she knows the truth: we’ve been reading our Christmas books and watching our Rudolph and Frosty videos furiously, and I’ve wondered if they leave a bad taste in her mouth this time around. So I asked her point-blank, and was surprised at her answer.

“How do I feel about these things now that I know the truth?” she repeated, looking at me in surprise. “I still love them! I love hearing about how Kris Kringle became Santa Claus, or watching Frosty come to life. I think I enjoy them more now that I know they’re fairy tales – that makes a lot more sense to me. And I can’t wait to hang my stocking this year! Knowing you’re filling it makes me extra-happy, Mommy.” And she skipped off to play.

Cora will try hard not to ruin the mystery for your kids, I promise. And in return, I simply ask that if she does slip up, as six-year-olds do, please don’t jump on her angrily, but show her a little grace.

‘Tis the season, and all that, and my Truth Teller’s finding her way through uncharted territory this year.


Post a Comment

House Rules

Here are the rules for posting comments on 1mother2another.com. Posting a comment that violates these rules will result in the comment’s deletion, and you’ll probably be banned from commenting in the future.

1) Register first. If you would like to post a comment, you must create an account with us. Check out the home page to do so.

2) Constructive comments only. If you cannot maintain a respectful tone in your posting, even in disagreement, your comment will be deleted. We’re all trying to find our way in this thing and are struggling to be the best moms we can. If you disagree with something I say, feel free to politely email me. If you disagree with another reader’s posting, you’re welcome to kindly post in reply. Vitriolic diatribes will be deleted. This site is about encouraging and supporting, not tearing down and chastising.

3) Questions welcomed. If an entry raises a question, you’re welcome to email me directly or post it. Keep in mind that postings will result in public replies by strangers and not just me.

4) Don’t steal. All original writings contained within this website are under copyright protection. If you link to us, please credit us as your source and provide a link back to our website. If you're interested in using an excerpt in published material, please contact us.

5) Share your photos! We'd love to have photos from our registered readers to show on our home page under "Maddie's friends". Email us a jpeg of your little one's best photo to photos@1mother2another.com. Please, no photos from professional photographers which fall under copyright protection.