That boy, right there on the right….he became a little less of a young boy last night. He walked up to me in the kitchen and was naming off characters like “Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, Unicorns…what other mystical fake creatures that aren’t real are there?” My eyes got big. I know they did because Barrett froze. I smiled and said “Can you go to my room please?” “Why?” he asked. Because your brothers are standing right here!! But I couldn’t say that so I repeated myself. He got teary eyed. Oh yeah son, he comes your first “getting older” talk.
He laid on my bed and I sat down next to him. “So what did you mean by fake mystical not real creatures?” He began crying. I reassured him he wasn’t in trouble I was only curious what his thoughts were. “Is there anything you’d like to ask me?” “Well, I’ve kind of been thinking that the Easter Bunny isn’t real. I mean he’s a bunny, who plants eggs? I know he has chicken friends but I don’t buy it.” LONG PAUSE. Do I really want to do this? Yes, I do. The Easter Bunny thing has bugged me from the beginning. More so than any other. “No, the Easter Bunny isn’t real. It’s a fun game parents like to play with their kids.” “Who made up the Easter Bunny?” “I have no idea honey.” He then recanted EVERY freaking Easter day since he was probably three years old ripping apart any detail he could remember. He began to act scared when he asked “What about the leprechauns?” Ugh! Do I tell the truth? Do I flip the question on him? “That was mom and dad too.” Wiping tears away he asks how we did it so I let him in on all my secrets. I feel awful. He was ready enough to say something out loud but maybe not ready to hear the truth. I think he’s at an age where he’s asking older questions but still thrives in the innocence of childhood fantasy. I knew the Santa question was coming but first he dissected every prank the leprechauns ever played. “How did you put leprechaun pee in the toilet?” “Green dye” “What about the feet prints” “My hand and fingers as toe prints” “All the toys and cereal?” “Me”. More tears. A lot more tears. Here it comes…..”Santa?” I could only shake my head no. FRICK! I can’t remember what that lady on pinterest wrote to her kids when they told her they didn’t believe. Dangit! It was so good!!! I free styled it and did pretty good. Even remembering this my eyes are misty. Ugh, my baby. “What about the time he came to our house?” “Do you remember how Grandpa and Grandma McCumby would always eat Christmas morning breakfast with us? Grandpa played Santa.” “REALLY!?!” He was excited at that thought which made me happy that he has a new memory of his Great Grandfather. He then quizzed me about the videos the boys get which if you’ve never done it and you have believers…DO IT! It’s awesome! https://www.portablenorthpole.com/ I always did the free version and it’s spectacular. I told him about the website which blew his mind.
We talked about being responsible with what we say around the younger boys and especially at school since we don’t know who believes and who doesn’t. He says “I hate being the oldest!” The only thing he seemed to like it being able to help set up stuff for the younger two. I asked him if he had any questions for me. “Do you believe in anything that some people say isn’t real?” Insert talk about God and Jesus.
The night ended on a good note. We dried our eyes and played charades with everyone. It wasn’t until I tucked him in at night that he cried again. I reassured him that he could always come to me if he ever questioned anything. I would never lie to him.
As I laid in bed I beat myself up a bit. Should I have just pushed it off? Let him continue to question. Did I do the right thing? Scott and I were about the same age when we stopped believing but I don’t remember being so upset. When I was in bed talking to Scott about it I remembered he never asked about the tooth fairy. Do I still have the tooth fairy? OMG and I probably lost Usik our Elf on the Shelf. Bummer.
2016 UPDATE: I totally thought I published this!! Well we made our way through Christmas and he played along well. A little too well. I think he has forced this event out of his mind because he acted like we never had this conversation. WEIRD