My baby girl's bittersweet milestone
Kathryn went back to school after winter break last week and told all of her friends what Santa gave to her. She was most excited, I think about the DS that mom and dad gave, but no return to school goes without mentioning the gifts from the man in red.
Her friend, Nate, however, managed to mention what he learned from his older brothers. “There is no Santa Claus,” he told her the other day.
And so, Kathryn came home from school on Thursday armed with questions. My husband and I made it a policy to not lie to her once the question did come up. Instead, it would be my job to set her down and let her know the truth.
We came home from the store and she asked me again…”Mom, is Santa real or has it been you and dad all along?” “What do you want to believe?” “I want Santa to be real, but I also want the truth”. I told her exactly what I should have and explained why. I told her that for generations, Santa has been a tradition in many families. Parents mostly enjoy seeing the expressions on their childrens’ faces at seeing the magic of Santa. And so, it wasn’t that Santa didn’t exist. The spirit does! But no large man in a red suit commits B&E once a year.
She cried for all of two minutes before it dawned on her that it was her father and I who were enjoying the cookies each Christmas night. Then she laughed. She realized it was her father and I who toiled over putting together a bike until 1 am when she was 3. She remembered it was her father and myself who put a large tent up the same night. She also realized it was her father who attempted to stuff a large pillow into her stocking just a few short weeks ago.
Then, the rest of it clicked. She asked to see her baby teeth. I showed them to her and she enjoyed seeing all the letters she’d written to the tooth fairy with each tooth she placed under her pillow over the past 14 months.
She relished the thought of not having to wait for her tooth payout any longer. She mentioned immediate compensation.
She asked if we could still hide eggs for her this coming Easter, because it would still be fun. She also asked if she could still get an Easter Basket. I said yes to both.
After that, she was OK with it. It wasn’t nearly as traumatic as I thought it would be.
It’s still the end of an era with my baby, though… one that started on Christmas morning 7 years ago with two Pooh dolls, some Weebles and a little Care Bears push car.