I've mentioned this before, but with adopting an older child (at the age of 7) we get an opportunity to see rapid fire development in him sometimes. A few weeks ago he decided he wanted to learn to tie his own baseball shoes. He had only had velcro shoes all his life and even here, I just never thought about it. So, I sat down with him one day and showed him once. And he said "Let me do it." And boom! That was it. He tied his shoes. Yes, he is 8 years old, but we fly through some of these things so fast compared to raising other children, that it makes my head spin.
The Santa thing is one of those moments. Last year was his first Christmas with us. He had only been with us about 9 months. Everything was new. He was somewhat confused by all of it, but still loved it. Of course we focused on the fact that it was Jesus' Birthday. But, with our culture and the movies we love, Santa Claus entered the scene. I hesitated to make a big deal about Santa Claus because of the Trust we have wanted to build with him. We often say "You can Trust us, we will never Lie to you!". Well, the reality is....
Santa Claus is one Jolly Elf of a Lie!
He bought the fun and games of the "myth" (is it ok to call a lie a myth?). He loved it. He watched movies about it, we saw "Santa's" at stores, etc. Logically speaking he could have figured it all out last year, but his logic circuits really weren't quite firing properly yet.
Last night as we were going to bed somehow we got onto the topic of Jesus and Santa. He saw an old antique German Bible I have from my Great Uncle. It has a thick heavy cover on it and the pages look old and fragile. He said that it was "Santa's book". I think he remembers a book like that from the movie Elf. I told him that it was not Santa's book it was a Bible...Jesus' book.
He assumed they were one in the same. Uh oh!
The discussion evolved into..."but who put the presents under the tree last year?" My answer? "Who do you think?" He was not satisfied. Time to call in daddy for backup...
So, Peter and I sat on our bed and carefully navigated the Santa Myth.
We tried to leave room for an open ended discussion in case he still wanted to believe.
But, he looked us in the eye and said,
"You promised you would never lie to me!"
"Tell me the truth!"
We have always promised our kids we would be honest and truthful with us. With Lucas we really have to be exceptionally careful to not do anything that will destroy Trust.
Peter was awesome and explained the story of the "real" St. Nicholas. And that the story of Santa Claus comes from his life story and it has changed over the years.
Lucas had been confused that somehow Santa Claus and Jesus were one in the same.
Shaking my head here...It's that moment when you question these traditions and feel compelled to share the truth.
In the end, gentle tears flowed down his face. So heartbreaking.
He still isn't quite sure how the presents got under the tree while we were at church!
We told him some things have to remain a mystery and surprise. =)
So we left it at that and we will see what happens as we enter into the Christmas Season this year.
So just like everything else with Lucas. We've plowed through another stage of learning and development that every kid has to go through at rapid fire. We had the Santa myth for One Year!
Although we did tell him that he should not tell Isaac (age 17 1/2) because we don't want to ruin the surprise for him...
We will see if he can keep the secret!
Apparently not telling Isaac was too much of a burden so he spilled the beans today. Isaac cried out in shock and dismay. Lucas told him "I know...it's sad"...and tried to reassure him and sort of scolded me for not telling Isaac the truth all these years. =) precious boy.
Nov. 19, 2012
Apparently, Lucas has decided that the Jolly Elf is indeed real and he ain't buying it any other way. Reminds me of Isaac and his coping with this same issue. Even though logic "should" win out. Most kids just want to "believe". Don't we all???? =)