First Long Bike Trip (Courage, Fostering independence, Adventure, Quality time)

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First long trip! She biked 2 miles for a popsicle and then 2 miles back for a new bell. Lots of learning- sidewalk etiquette, new obstacles and a few minor spills to brush off.

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First Time on Road (Milestones, Courage, Fostering independence)

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First bike ride along the road without wheels! After seeing her progress in the driveway, thought we could try a bit of sidewalk. We ended up biking to a nearby bridge and then the full mile to the beach. On the way to the bridge, I thought about all the times I pushed her there by stroller as an infant and toddler. Growing up. Sigh but proud…. and best of all she was proud of herself.

Bursting the Santa Bubble (Difficult parenting choices, Honesty, Trust)

We were driving when suddenly she popped the question-

Her – “Daddy, is Santa real?”

I took a deep breath, choosing my words carefully, answering as I had a couple times and a year ago.

Me – “The spirit of Santa Claus is real, yes.”

She was quiet. Thought I was safe again, maintaining my integrity the way I wanted to related to this subject but not fully squashing the magic. Then she spoke up again…

Her – “But is the MAN Santa who gives out presents real.”

Well, she asked me straight out, and I couldn’t avoid it. So, I turned back and somewhat sympathetically answered…

Me – “No, honey, he is not. Santa Claus is not real.”

I softened the blow by telling her how I responded to learning, arguing with a friend but not mad at my parents. And, I told her about our friend who, when she learned as a kid drew a line in the sand that she would not trust her parents again. In other words, now that she knew the truth, she could decide how to respond.

She was fine.

Me – “Life is magical.”

My job is to keep it so for her… even without Santa. Now that dang Tooth Fairy is going to come up soon.

Sigh.

Obviously, I’m not a fan of leading kids on with mistruths.

However, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit saddened to burst the Santa bubble. Oh well, it’s going to get burst, eventually.

One has to make decisions as a parent, and I’ve decided to be forthright with her.