Although he’s almost 10, I sat in the bathroom as my son showered so I could make sure to apply all his topical medications for his eczema. Through the years I’ve learned a lot and had some really insightful conversations with my son during these times. Conversations that have saddened me, conversations that have made my heart sing, and conversations that have made my heart stop (and thank God that my son couldn’t see my face).
On this particular evening I know that my heart stopped, my mouth dropped, and my brain quickly went into emergency action mode.
Mayday! Mayday! We have a problem!
Just a couple of weeks prior a couple of moms and I discussed whether our boys still believed in the man in red because we knew they were getting to be that age. I never dreamed that I would be the first to deal with this among my son’s close group of friends. And I never dreamed this conversation would come up in the middle of September. I wasn’t prepared. My husband and I have never even discussed how to handle this. MAYDAY!
That September evening as I sat there lost in my own thoughts I heard, “Mom. I know Santa isn’t real.”
WHAT! I screamed in my mind. I’m not ready for this. I’ve got to warn my husband, my mom, his friends’ moms. It’s only September, why are we talking about Santa? Where did this come from?
Somehow I managed to prod to get a little more out of him while all those other thoughts were raging through my mind.
“What do you mean that Santa isn’t real?” I managed to calmly ask.
He explained his thoughts to me, and it really turned out that at one set of his grandparents he knows they are pretending Santa stopped there.
Phew … a narrow escape for the time being.
Over the next few days I struggled with whether to come clean, and if so, how. I know there are a few letters floating around out there I could use, I could also just say “yep, you caught us,” or chose any number of other ways to break the news. Eventually I came across the story of the real St. Nicholas and decided when the time came, that is how I would share the truth about Santa.
It is two months later and we are entering the Christmas season. I hold my breath as each day passes not knowing if the discussion will come up again. Selfishly I’m holding on to the hope of making it through this year.