life on the funny farm

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I-Need-Therapy-Thursday: Deflowering a Believer

You know how they say that your children will always be your babies, even when they're grown?

Well, that's maybe a little more true for one of my kiddos than for the others.

My little Bella is just more child-like than most kids her age. Chalk it up to her delay, her learning disabilities, her short stature if you want. She recently turned 15, but if you met her, you might think she was more like 10 or 11.

Add to that that she is one grade down, and has an early-in-the-schoolyear birthday, so she's a good year and a half older than most of her classmates.

Not surprisingly, then, she still believed in Santa a good bit longer than the average bear.

And a couple years ago, I decided it was high time she knew the truth. I guess I was afraid that at some point, the teasing was bound to set in, and I wanted to protect her from that.

So I let her have 13. I figured she was only in 6th grade, after all, and there were still a handful of her mostly 11 year old classmates that believed, so she wasn't alone. But let her get to 14 without knowing the truth? Nope. It was time.

So after that Christmas, it was maybe January, I called her into my room to have a talk. This is typically where I talk to the kids about puberty, and the birds and the bees.

Are we gonna have another one of those talks, Mom?

What talks?

One of those talks about the changes in my body and where babies come from and stuff? Cuz you already told me all about it, and gross.

No babe. But I do need to tell you about something.

And snuggled in the blankets and pillows, bathed in soft lamplight, I proceeded to rip her her beloved Santa Claus from her soul.  Though I did it as gently as I could, I still felt like a monster.

That's not a parent's job!  That kind of business is better left to big brothers and local bullies.

In fact, in this age of technology, most kids don't even learn it on the street, they figure it out on their own.  They set up the video camera to capture their parents in digital deception, or they head to the trusty interwebs to learn the truth, cold and icy as polar snow.

But not me.  I'm her MOM, but I had to play the role of the pimply-faced, green-toothed, scabby-nosed bully, and tell her all about how it's Mom and Dad that put the presents under the tree and in the stockings.  We eat the cookies, we drink the milk.  We shop, we wrap, we hide.  We do it all.

With each of her questions, there was a hint of hopefulness that she would trip me up, reveal a mystery I didn't have an answer for.  With each answer of mine, another tear slid down her little face.

But I finally got through it.  I did the dirty deed of ripping away her child-like innocence, under the guise of educating my child, and preventing the pain of teasing.

Why then, did I feel like such a demon? 

Anyone know of any babies with candy I could steal?

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  1. aww this is a beautiful and sad little post. At 14 it definitely was time. But that is hard to ask of you. Poor Bella and Poor you :(

  2. I still believe and I'm 50....

  3. I probably would have paid the siblings to at least plant the seeds before the talk. Call me a coward. Poor both of you. But it was time, I suppose.

  4. Oh that must of been so hard to do . My oldest figured it out when he was 12 but kept the secret for our youngest till he figured it out when he was older so that was good . As parents we have to do what we have to do for our kids . At least you broke it to her gently . Have a good day !

  5. That's a tough thing to have to do. but I can see that you had her future best interests at heart. Hopping over from thumping thursday blog hop

  6. That's really sweet, and actually you helped her in a step towards her womanhood and that's a really powerful & special thing. She's very lucky that she learnt it from you rather than in the playground xxx

  7. I dread the day I have to tell our son the truth about Santa. Right now he's too young to understand or even realize the fun 'Santa' tradition but the day will come. Thanks for stopping by The Empowered Momma. I'm your newest GFC follower.

    Since you are enjoying blog hopping I have one currently on my blog. It's the Empowered Living hop. Feel free to stop by and link up if you wish.
    I'd love to host your blog there.

  8. Thanks for all the comments, friends. I can feel the love! Do you know, a year later she's still sad about it? Then again, so am I!

  9. oh Anne... beautiful post. As I read little Bellas' tears falling, mine fell with hers :_( My baby is still only 9 but I am hoping she "evolves" into the "truth" as i did as kid. I am kinda dreading the day 'cause when the magic dies for them, it takes a little of it from us too. Way back in kinder, a boy wanted to know the truth and his folks told him. They did also teach him about the value of believing and imagination as well and in the end... he said that even though he knew the truth about "Santa" he said "I still choose to believe". I think the magic still lives when we pass it on to the little ones and see it in their eyes - she can now experience it in that way too. Thanks for writing!

  10. Aw, what a rotten task. My second oldest thinks it HORRIBLE to tell the kids there's a Santa, and he told his younger sister the truth when she was 4. -_- Now his youngest brother is 5 (he's in college out of state now) and I already forewarned him that if he lets the cat out of the bag when he's home this holiday visiting, Santa will be real enough to take all of HIS presents back! Geez. lol

    I'm sorry you had to break the news to your daughter. :(

  11. Blog hopping & following... Happy Holidays!

  12. I still believe in Santa! I think that what you did was pretty brave. I've always believed that our kids should first learn the most necessary truths from us before they learn it from others. I've had all kinds of reality talks with my kids but I still have a hard time telling them about ol' St. Nick. No worries! :-) Found your site from Empowered Living Hop #11.

  13. Hi there. I'm Hanna. I found you on the Monday Blog Hop!!! I am a new follower of your blog!!!! Your blog is GREAT! I love making new friends!!! Happy Holidays to you:) You can find me at

    xoxoxo Hanna



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