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Lily, tired

Lily, tired

A Mommy's Musings
Being A Truth-Teller In A Fairy-Tale World Print E-mail
Friday, 13 December 2013

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.

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Frozen Print E-mail
Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Well, thanks to a huge ice storm that hit north Texas Thursday night, we spent three glorious days not getting in our car, not working, not packing school lunches, and in general having a fantastic time.

School was out Friday and Monday, thanks to the solid sheet of ice coating all the roads. And before anyone starts sneering about the pathetic southerners who can’t drive in snow, this is ice, ok? And I drove in snow for twelve years in New York, but you can’t drive on a solid sheet of ice with no snow plows or salt trucks around. Ok?

At any rate, the girls were outside as much as I’d let them, playing in the back yard, “ice skating” in our cul-de-sac, and sledding down the school hill with friends. We kept cider mulling on the stove for three solid days, and wallowed in our home-ness, baking and wrapping gifts and decorating for Christmas like it was December 24.

The whole sleeping in thing has been pretty great, too.

But the real world’s come back, and temperatures got above freezing on Monday, thawing out the roads and giving lots of people restless feet. I headed back to teaching Monday night and school is on for this morning. Teachers are feeling the squeeze of having two days taken away from them before winter break, and suddenly we’re realizing it’s two weeks before Christmas and the clock is ticking!

But for four glorious days, time stood still and we reveled in every minute of it.

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Santa Has Left the Building Print E-mail
Friday, 06 December 2013

I’ve always been ambivalent about the whole Santa thing: I enjoy the magic and childlike wonder, but feel incredibly uncomfortable actively encouraging my children to believe a lie. So I’ve lived in this uncomfortable zone at Christmas time, deflecting questions and trying to avoid all-out lying to my kids. And yes, we go see Santa for photos, and hang stockings, and all that – but we don’t do Elf on a Shelf or go crazy with the Santa idea.

This year just after school started, the mom of one of Cora’s friends pulled me aside and told me that Cora had told her daughter Laura that Santa Claus wasn’t real. In a very sweet and non-threatening way, the mom asked me to please ask Cora to respect other family’s traditions and not ruin the illusion of Santa Claus. Mortified, I assured the mom that Cora and I had never even had “the” Santa talk, and as far as I knew Cora still believed, and perhaps it was a misunderstanding?

Then this weekend we were getting into the car at an outdoor shopping area, replete with lights and Santa posters, and Cora asked Brian point-blank if Santa was real. Brian completely deflected the question and we breathed a sigh of relief.

THEN came this week.

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Talkin' 'Bout the Man With the Bag Print E-mail
Thursday, 05 December 2013

I haven’t written for a of days – no one’s sick, we’re just working through some hard stuff here.

Cora’s figured out the lowdown on the Man in Red, and we’re having some tough conversations, and frankly it’s been too much to process “out loud” here.

I’ll get it all straight in my head and written out for tomorrow – promise.

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The Secret Spot Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 December 2013

Maddie and Cora each have their own bedrooms, and their own closets. Both closets are full, which sounds crazy since each closet is a double-door, wall-length closet with PLENTY of space for a small child’s clothes and perhaps a newlywed couple in some countries. But in our house we don’t get rid of stuff very quickly; we have tubs and tubs of clothing in Maddie’s closet ready to be handed down to Cora, and in Cora’s closet we’ve got tubs and tubs of clothing Cora is handing down to her young cousin.

This past year, Cora’s closet has been gradually emptying out as baby J starts growing. We’ve said a tearful good-bye to newborns, then three month olds, then six month olds – you get the picture. Each tub leaving is both a cause for rejoicing – more STUFF gone! – and a pause to remember my babies, and how they’re moving inevitably onward and upward.

But there’s been a side benefit to Cora’s gradually emptying closet, and that’s the emergence of a new “room” – Cora’s Secret Spot.

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