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.
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.