Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Ugly Truth

Having an almost 8 and 9 year old in the house, the real ugly truth for us is whether or not to believe in Santa. The other day my 9 year old asked me if the Tooth Fairy was real....she asked this in the middle of Sears Hardware. I just wanted some sandpaper! But there we were, in the middle of a store, having this important conversation.

She went on to tell me that a friend of hers at school asked HER mom about the Tooth Fairy and she not only told her the truth, she showed her all of her teeth. First off....gross. Do you save the teeth? We toss them here, it skeeves me out beyond belief. I have only one that was saved, my daughter's chipped tooth since it was "special." And don't even get me started on hair. I saved their first clippings but it wasn't my idea, trust me.

Okay, anyway....there I am in the middle of Sears between a rock and a hard place. If I say, "OF COURSE there is a Tooth Fairy" well then, I've called her friend's mom a liar! If I tell her the truth, I go home and cry over how big my babies have gotten. So I did what I thought was best and told her that yes, her friend was right.....we put the money under their pillow and take their tooth. This is the part where she gets very quiet. I can see her moving this around in her already very intelligent 9 year old brain.

Guess what comes next?? You betcha! The Santa/Easter Bunny conversation. It went something like this.....

Hailey: But the Easter Bunny and Santa are real? I think those have to be real!

Ella: Duh Hailey, of course they are real. Where would all that stuff come from?
(turns to me) You would NEVER lie to us, right Mommy??

Me: Of course not sweetie, Santa brings you all the presents! Santa is definitely real and if you don't believe, he won't bring you gifts!

And then there's the kicker....

Hailey: Yeah, Santa has to be real. It's not like Mommy and Daddy could give us all those presents, where would they get all that money?!?!

So I'm either a liar or I'm poor. *sigh* Thanks kids.

How old were your kids when they stopped believing? We want to keep the spirit alive for as long as we possibly can. And I told the girls that their younger brother is only 4 and we want him to believe in the Tooth Fairy so they have to keep this conversation hush hush.

I wonder if they will listen. I didn't. When I found out about Santa, I couldn't wait to ruin it for all my friends. Yup, I was that kid. I'm a lot nicer now I swear!


Beverly @ The Buzz said...

Can't really remember on the "truth" thing. But I will say I still have the first tooth each child lost--don't know whose is whose--they all look alike. And I once had a neighbor who was potty training her first child. The kid went #2 in the potty and the mom saved it for the dad to see when he got home from work--hours later!

Jill said...

Wait a minute Santa isn't...???
I still believe!
My mom always told us, "When you stop believing, Santa stops coming."
I'm 30 years old and he still fills my stocking at my parents' house.

Julie said...

Michelle, My son is 21 and my husband and I were just talking about this. We don't remember him ever asking us if Santa or any of the others were real. My husband says its because we've always told him That Jesus is the reason for Christmas and Santa is the magic of Christmas. Good Luck with keeping the secret:) Have a wonderful Christmas

Melissa Miller said...

LOL! I enjoyed reading this conversation Michelle! Your daughters are just too cute.

Believing is a wonderful thing!

Many blessings to you and yours this Holiday season. ~Melissa :)

Sarah said...

Ha ha ha!! Try being Santa AND poor.
Your kids crack me up.

As far as I remember, I don't think anyone told me about Santa, I think I just figured it out. I do like the idea that if you stop believing, he'll stop bringing you gifts. I'll save that one for when mine are old enough to ask.

Amanda Jo said...

Too funny! I would have done exactly what you did!! Christmas just isn't the same when you're young and know that Santa's not real.

Ethan is only four so I've got a little while before I have to start worrying about all that.

Christina said...

Awww..I think my youngest (8) knows but won't admit it just in case. Little things like I wasn't that good last year and Santa still brought me presents (after me telling her Santa can see all she does) kids...go figure

Anonymous said...

This brought back so many son at 5 had a problem with the Easter Bunny...he turned to me and said WOW it sure must be one BUG bunny and one BIG basket to get all that candy delivered !!! I almost died and swore right then Iwould lie to him until he was we go along just fine until he is 7 and then the ?begin again....I tell him if you don't believe you don't receive...and that worked until he was 9 and all of his friends one by one stopped believing so that it when in the CAR he asked again and I told him...but I said don't ruin it for your little sister and he never did...she's 24 and still believes...LOL

Good Luck and Merry Christmas,

Kathy :)

ps I savedall their teeth and I have clippings of their hair... :)

Nancy said...

It ain't easy bein' a mom! I remember when our 26yo daughter first figured out about Santa. I can't remember the exact details, but it was sorta an accident for her to learn at that time. But what really made me feel like a heel was when she said, "I suppose you're going to tell me the Easter Bunny isn't real either". I hesitated and she picked up on that and burst out crying!

Oh, and mother to this day still has one gift for me that is from Santa. I'm 50 years old!


Ticking and Toile said...

ok...just had this conversation w/ my good friend....all my girls (9,12,& 13 yrs.) still believe...I know...they have asked us the same thing, the same way & are so trusting..oh my goodness! I told them the same thing. If you don't believe "Santa" won't bring you presents. Oh dear. I think the older 2 have probably figured it out but just aren't pushing the issue. I just remember finding out at age 12 & feeling very depressed by it. :-/ You know what though? my mom NEVER fessed up! :)


Eileen said...

I remember my children all asking about those things (Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus) but we just told them that IF they believe in them, then they are true, but when you stop believing they aren't true anymore, and we told them it was up to them if they wanted to keep believing or not. They all wanted to still believe no matter what their friends had told them, and no matter what any other adult said!
Then I guess eventually the truth dawned on them. But I think it was a little less traumatic.

My four-year-old grandson just asked me about 'The Elf on the Shelf', he wanted to know if he was real and if he visited Santa every night to report on his behavior. I gave him the same answer too "Only if YOU believe it's true", and he said, "Well, I DO!"

Darlene said...

Lexi is 10 and still wants to believe so badly. She has definitely heard all the things the other kids say. I too have told her when she stops believing that Santa stops coming. But, I know in her heart she knows the truth.

It is funny because when she was younger and noticed all the different Santas in the malls, I always just told her that Santa has to have helpers. When we used to go to Houston to visit my parents at Christmas, there was this BEAUTIFUL Santa at one of their malls. She always BELIEVED that THAT was the REAL Santa and all of the others were the

Darlene said...

Oh, and one more thing....she still believes in the tooth fairy too. A few months ago when she lost a tooth she wrote a note to the tooth fairy asking her all sorts of things. I replied back that I was sooooo busy that night I didn't have time to answer all her questions but I answered a couple in teeny, tiny writing that you could barely see. I think that clenched it!!!!...YEP, she's real!!!!!!!

tara said...

ahh kids, you have go to love them! I say tell them Santa and the easter bunny are real, what is it hurting? And the whole keeping the teeth thing, totally groose...ewww.

Kelly said...

We're in the same boat as you. I have an 8 yr old son that just recently came home from school telling me that his friend said there was no Santa. But, he didn't say that it was really the parents. So, I just said, "Oh, what does he know?". I'm sure it will come up again around Easter or by next Christmas. I keep thinking this might be our last Christmas with him believing in Santa. My older son already knows the truth. It feels like a loss of childhood somehow for them to suddenly quit believing.

Theresa said...

OH POOH, My daughter is 36 and she still believes:) I can't remember how old she was but I pretended, as did she, for a long time that neither of us knew that the other knew.... get it? Anyway, I know my 14 year old Granddaughter knows about Santa... but once again, we pretend:) Sometime a little fib is OK:) Have a blessed day!

Rue said...

Annie sat us down last year and said "Mommy and Rich, you do realize that I know there's no Santa right?" She was just 13. Apparently she'd been playing along to not hurt our feelings since she was about 9. I cried LOL

I think Alex still believes at 19 ;)

When the questions started though around 7 or 8 for each them, that's when I told them about the letter and said that even if you don't believe in the man, believe in the spirit, because when you don't the magic ends.


Tammy of Yarborough House said...

My 4 year old asked the same thing this year. I told her that of course he is real. That he is magic and magic only works if you believe. I said we believe in Heaven and Jesus and we don't see them but we know they are there. I said sometimes you have to believe and try harder if you can't see it.

I remember when we were little my mom always said of course he is real and I would not question it again because if he hears you he may think you don't. And if he thinks you don't believe it is the same as being bad- no presents.
At age 10 I knew otherwise but had 3 younger siblings so said nothing. Then when I turned 13 my mom had our last sibling and I was so happy as I figured that was at least another 10 years of Santa gifts - :)
I am 43 and believe more now that I have kids then I did at 13 - it is the magic of it all and we are all never too old to believe in magic.

Granna Girl said...

My almost 6 year old granddaughter started asking her parents lots of questions about God and Santa Claus. It started off with "is Santa real?" and the conversation turned into much more than they anticipated. She was telling them that Santa takes people up to heaven and God greets them there or some such nonsense. After a very lengthy discussion of how we know God is real they finally told her Santa is not. Of course that led to the questions about the Easter bunny and the Tooth Fairy. They told her the truth, and threatened her about not telling her little sister. It made me sad. I like to still believe in Santa myself!

Anna said...

yes, I have an 8 year old too and the 3rd grade class is a buzz with some who don't believe in Santa. Yes, I lied to my daughter too when she asked.
One friend told me she told her kids that Santa is real as long as you 'believe'. I would like to at least keep it going a couple more years as her brother is 6.

Wendy said...

too funny!

my son is 8 and his 9 year old cousin knows the truth, so i dont think we're far off :(

Lisa ~ A Cottage to Me said...

My older two, now 21 and 19, kind of just let me know one day that "they knew". We slowly let the "beliefs" die starting with the tooth fairy. I mean really, who can stay up as long as kids can these days to play tooth fairy? Not me! Anyway, we still play there is a Santa, cuz...well, there is DAD! LOL And of course the Easter bunny has to bring chocolate! So with some things you never stop believing right?

heyruthie said...

we've always talked about Santa, but CLOSELY tied him to the "real" St. Nicholas. we've studied the life of the real St. Nick who gave money to poor families, especially young girls who had no dowries and would otherwise have been sold into slavery. My kids half believe in Santa, but as more of a mysical figure that doesn't involve any lies or deception on our part. when my 5 year old asked me about it again last week, "Mommy, is Santa real?" I answered, "The idea of Santa is a very real part of the Christmas spirit and he reminds us of the actual person St. Nicholas, who gave gifts to needy families. St. Nicholas *loved* Jesus, and wanted to serve him. Santa reminds us of how we can serve Jesus and help others too!" we read about the "praying Santa" who loves Jesus, too.

Anonymous said...

I asked at the age of 5 and my mom told me the truth. Kinda sad, now that i have my own 3 year old. I was brought up with the idea that Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas. Now that I have my own child, I will continue to teach her that Jesus is the reason we celebrate, but santa is real too. He is only a part of the season not the whole season. If my child asks before the age of 10 or 12 I plan to say that santa is real as long as you believe in him. :) Put the ball in their court. Is that wrong?

lins55 said...

I don't give a yes or a no answer when it comes up. I know my daughter will realize one day the truth but my answer to her is if you don't believe you don't recieve. Then she references money and times when it was almost impossible for us to leave something or something and she chalks it up to the magic of christmas or easter.

dunfordorama said...

My son (now 13)has questioned how Santa does things and being "real" or "fake" several times over the last 5 years or so due to friends telling him that santa is not real.
I answer by not denying or confirming either way.
I usually answer with the question of "what do you think?" which is still answered by my son to this day with "I dont know?"
I then tell him that he is allowed to belive whatever he wishes to belive in no matter what others tell him what thier belief is.
I also remind him that there are people in the world that do not belive Jesus is real.
I also remind him that no matter what he belives in, he doesnt have to prove or defend it to anyone else and that it is okay to keep his belief to himself if he wishes to.
the rule in our house is the same "if you dont belive, you dont get gifts from Santa".. My nephews just confirm this by repeated telling my son that santa isnt real. and my son will ask "does santa bring you gifts"?
to which of course they say "no, bc he isnt real" and my son says "you dont get them because you dont belive" LOL.

ps: at 13 I am pretty sure he doesnt belive, but doesnt want to give up on the "magic" of it all.. which is fine by me as I also have a 6 yo daughter.