Well yes, of this blog - but more than that.
Emily is starting to make serious inquiries into the existence of Papa Noel, Father Christmas, Sinterklaus - you know - Santa.
Last week, she started telling me, yet again, how her classmates keep telling her that Santa is simply her parents putting gifts under the tree. She tells me these things to weigh my reaction against the knowledge that her peers are sharing.
I made my usual noises about it being too bad that those children don't believe in Santa and how I, certainly, do believe in Santa.
Her tone changed. She put her face close to mine.
"You don't think Moms and Dads put presents under the tree and pretend that Santa did it?"
She watched me struggle. I do not, as a general rule, LIE to Emily about things. She watched me search for a somewhat truthful answer to this fairly direct question. This is the best that I came up with:
"Does it matter?"
Her face was still and attentive.
"Yes", she said. "It matters."
"No", I said, "does it matter who puts the gifts there? The gifts are still there, right?"
I am starting to plead. She has me trapped and she can see it. I am avoiding the question because if she puts it directly TO me, I will have to answer it - and I desperately do not want to answer this question.
Emily starts to cry. Quietly at first.
"B-but the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy and there'll be just no JOY left..." her sentences are jumbly and full of emotion - I am trying to soothe her
"Its all right to still believe in Santa sweetie - there is nothing babyish about believing in Santa."
She leans into me. She is not asking the question and I am not offering any concrete answers.
A few minutes pass and her crying subsides. I hold her, thinking of a way to fix this, and knowing that I can't really. She knows and she knows I know. The apple has been bitten, the bridge has been crossed.
Finally, I offer this to her.
"Emily - when you really want to know - you ask me and I will tell you the truth. But only if you really want to know. Until then, you don't have to ask."
She lays in the arms, silent. I have admitted everything in those last words.
"When I really want to know - you'll tell me the truth?", she asks - looking at me, face to face.
"Yes, baby - I will", I murmured.
And like that, it was over.
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