It was a very sad day in our house. I knew it was coming. I thought maybe we'd make it through one last Christmas. Alas, that was not the case.
We were snuggling on the couch and she suggested we read The Polar Express. I said okay, so she ran and got our copy. I only got into the second paragraph when it happened...
On Christmas Eve, many years ago, I lay quietly in my bed. I did not rustle the sheets. I breathed slowly and silently. I was listening for a sound - a sound a friend had told me I'd never hear - the ringing bell of Santa's sleigh.
"There is no Santa," my friend had insisted. But I knew he was wrong.
And that's when she interrupted me. "I know Santa is real," she exclaimed. "It's not the Moms and Dads, right? Or is it, Mommy?" Not wanting to spoil the magic I asked her, "What do you think?" The response was an exasperated, "You can just tell me!"
So I did.
After I told her, she laughed and said, "So it's a big huge joke?" I then talked to her a bit about the magic of Santa and why we donated toys to Christmas wish programs, etc... I also told her that now she has to help fill the stockings. And keep the Santa Secret from other kids until they're ready to find out.
"Yeah, I am 6 now. I'm big enough to know. It's not like I'm 2. Then you wouldn't have told me." she said.
I told her that as soon as she asked the questions I would tell her the truth. Even if she had been 2. I think 6 is a little young to be in on the secret but, it is what it is. I did have to laugh though when I asked her if she still wanted to get her photo taken with the mall Santa.
"Of course. I mean, elves are still real. They make all the toys for the toy stores."
And as I tucked her in she told me, "If I hear the Polar Express I am so totally going on. You don't need a ticket after all."