My sister and I went on a Target run last week. Among vent sessions, missing the exit, spending money on unnecessary gifts, and eating a disappointing diner lunch (I mean, who makes egg salad on plain old bread instead of toast?!), we had simultaneous mother meltdowns. You know, as you do in Target.
It started out innocently enough. We were talking about what our kids want for Christmas. Our older kids are six months apart and just starting to get to the age where the presents they ask for are on the expensive side. Case in point: Jack wants a $400 train set. Samantha wants a Nook.
The problem we’re having this year is that our kids are old enough to dream big while simultaneously marveling at the fact that they can because, as my nephew puts it, “the best thing about Christmas is that everything’s free.”
This is not an easy thing to explain around two smart seven year olds. I tried the whole “You know, a Nook is a pretty big present. If you got it, you might not get much else.” The response was more or less an Isn’t that sweet? She doesn’t get how this works look and the explanation that Santa makes things. He doesn’t pay for them. Silly me!
Still, the conversation with my sister eventually turned to dreading the day our kids don’t believe. It feels like a major loss of innocence to both of us and we both still remember the days we definitively found out with anger.
For my sister, it was her friend Brittany that ruined it. She was about seven at the time and walked into her parents wrapping all of the presents. This was not the sort of thing a seven year old could handle or process on her own, so she spilled the beans to my already cynical sister.
For me it was Cindy freakin Crawford. I was older, probably ten or so and home sick from school. I was sitting on the couch watching Live with Regis and Kathie Lee (as you do when you’re ten and sick). I don’t remember how it came up or what she said exactly, but somehow she launched into the story of how she found out there was no Santa.
I was so pissed. In that moment I hated Cindy Crawford. I had had doubts but I really wanted to believe. Cindy Crawford took that away from me. With one little slip of the lips, the bitch ruined Christmas (don’t worry, Cindy. I still love you… and your furniture).
My sister and I want the kids to hold onto the magic and the innocence for as long as they can (hence the mother meltdowns). If we could put them in a bubble and keep them away from the overly curious friends and the Cindy Crawfords of the world, we totally would.
Do you remember how you found out about things like Santa and the Tooth Fairy not being real? Are you still as angry about it as my sister and I? Or are we just big fat babies?