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No More Santa Claus in our House. It’s alright, I’ll be okay.

No More Santa Claus in our House. It’s alright, I’ll be okay.

It was time. Paddling a double kayak is the best place to have these discussions with a blossoming tween – a good place to have any discussions with a tween really. It’s like parallel-play time again. You have a captive audience, and you can’t see the eye-rolling.

I don’t remember how, but he came up in conversation. Santa Claus.

A friend’s experience telling with her twelve-year-old son told me not to presume that she knew. Sure, we had some close calls, like at the Q&A session after a screening of ‘Rise of the Guardians’ when the creators starting saying ‘. . . back when we believed in . . . ‘ and we rushed Savannah out of the theater with my fingers in her ears and Kent lalalalalalalalalalala‘ing, but her letters to Santa in her ‘Special Things’ box told me that she was still a believer, and his biggest fan. Sigh.

“Do you think Santa Claus really goes around the world in one night?” I asked casually.
“No. He has helpers. And magic.”
“I don’t know.”

“You don’t believe in Santa Claus Mom?”
“I don’t think so.”

There it was.
Kent, on the paddle board, gave me the go ahead look.

“Babe, it’s time we told you.”
“What? He’s not real?”
“No. He’s not.”

The wheels were turning, and two of us were holding our breath.
“You’re ten now see, and all of your friends know, and we thought you should know this year.”
“But the flip-camera?”
“The green screen?”
“It feels like I’m in a dream.”

It was a long paddle back, and I realized that double kayaks are not the best places for hugs.

She cried, she lay on her dad’s lap. She went through her ‘Special Things’ box and we talked about every Christmas, every present, every letter, every white lie. She wasn’t mad. It will take a few days, we told her. Christmas will still be magical.  She felt different, but she was okay.

Maybe it was too soon I tortured myself that night. One more year wouldn’t have been so awkward, even though she had outgrown my shoes and was as tall as my mother. We had been able to put the tooth fairy away some time back with little emotion, but Santa Clause, he was another thing entirely. I didn’t sleep that night. I got up and looked through years of photos, and cried a little. I ate some cookies and milk. And then I found myself on claus.com – http://www.claus.com. Yup, Santa online. You can check your name on the Naughty or Nice rating, visit the elf shops, there’s one charitable organization link (kudos for that), but mostly a lot of stuff to download, stuff to buy, some ad’s and pop-up’s, and online games.

Ah yes, it was time.


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