Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm Working For The Man...

And that man is Santa.

Let me take you on a little trip where innocence is lost and regained. Where I have to be absolutely brilliant or I've failed as a mother.

Entirely.

Friday night Monkeygirl found out that there is no Santa Claus. The "how" is not important. And not because I may or may not have been the one who ruined her life and ripped innocence out of her clutching little hands. No, not because of that but because the story here is that I? bailed us out and single-handedly saved Christmas.

Expect the book out soon.

So let's go ahead and enter this scene after the big reveal and as she's grasping at the fragments of her childhood. Reality has just swirled in and jumbled her mind. She's like Neo after taking the pill and finding out the Matrix is... well... the Matrix.

Monkeygirl: The Toothfairy? The Easter Bunny? They're all not real.

Me: Oh God, um, well kiddo... I'm afraid it's all true.

Jason is looking on from the other room.

MG (tears welling up): But what about the hoof prints in the yard? And the cookies and milk? What about the sparkles?

Me: Oh, oh, Jason??? She's not ready! She's NOT ready!!!

I sat there and watched helplessly as her brain went dark and the world got ugly and all the sudden she wasn't a little girl. She was becoming jaded before my very eyes.

In a flurry she ran down the hall to her room. I looked at Jason who I thought might shed tears he seemed so upset. If you had asked we would have thought she had a clue, but no, clearly she did not.

I made my way down the hall and tiptoed into her room. "Monkey? Are you okay?" Shiny, wet, blue-green eyes revealed themselves from the depths of her princess pillow case. "Ah honey, I'm so sorry", I said.

I crouched down and looked her in the eye. Patting her on the back, I fumbled through an explanation about how mom's and dad's love their children so much that we work extra hard to make magic happen for them. And now that she knows it's her job as the big sister to help make magic happen for her little brother.

"But what about the oats in the yard?"

The look in her eyes said that she was betrayed by our ugly, dirty secret. It wasn't the same and she'd NEVER be the same and why, oh why does her stupid brother get to still have magic when she doesn't and it's ALL SO UNFAIR! She didn't say a word of that though. Tearily, she nodded and then followed me back to the living room where she curled up next to my side for the rest of the evening.

I sat with my heart in my throat as I stroked her hair. She went to bed with a distinct droop to her shoulders and I went to bed with a droop in my heart. Fitfully, I slept that night. Restless, tossing and turning. At 4:00 in the morning I woke. I laid there, my heart aching. I thought of when I found out and how I hated my mother at that moment for taking it from me. I wanted to run to the next room and put her not-so -little body in bed with me and cuddle the hurt away. Instead, genius struck and I knew what I must do.

I crept into her room and sat on her bed. I touched her arm and said, "Monkey, are you awake?" "Kinda", she replied. "I have something to tell you, but it's a secret, between you and me. A secret no one else can ever know." She half sat up, looking curious. "Monkey, you know how we said that Santa, the toothfairy and easter bunny aren't real?" She nodded and I continued, "well that's not true. Not at all, they are real!" Her eyes grew wide, "Really?!" "Shhhhh, really, kiddo. There are so many kids in the world and they can't get everywhere, so they pick mom's, really special mom's to help them with all their work. I can't tell Jason, so he doesn't know. He doesn't know they're real so we have to keep it a secret, okay?"

And with that? I saved her childhood, I saved Christmas and I saved my title of Mother of the Universe.

The next morning she got up and didn't let on for a moment that anything was different. As we headed out the door to go meet her dad for the weekly kid exchange she waited until we were a block away and totally out of Jason's possibility of hearing, "so let me get this straight", she started.

I laughed. She had questions, I answered them, all of them and she bought it.

Maybe I shouldn't have gone back and changed what she found out. Maybe I shouldn't have started any of it to begin with when she was little. All I know is that I would rather innocence hang around my daughter as long as possible before the big, bad, ugly world takes it's place.

Sunday evening as we were decorating for the holidays Jason winks at me and says "Hey hon, who were you talking to on the phone this morning with Monkey's wish list in your hand?"

Me: No one Jason, you're mistaken.

Jason: No, I'm pretty sure I heard you on the phone and you had her list.

I glance at Monkey, who has her hand over her mouth and her eyes are wide again.

Me: Oh hon, you must have been dreaming. That didn't happen.

And as Jason walked out of the room she looked at me and whispered, "whew, that was a close one, Mom!"

And indeed it was.

15 comments:

Lisa..... said...

That's so cute! My daughter's stepmother took away Santa for my daughter. She told her people believe in Santa because they don't want to believe in God. And the Easter bunny, same thing. I didn't know what to say. I told her people who don't beleive in Santa don't get presents from Santa. So she decided to believe a little while longer.

Dirty Pirate Hooker said...

Yeah, the punk has been questioning me like crazy and I just keep telling her that not everyone believes and that it's her choice, but those who choose to not believe risk not getting presents also. So she still believes.

Nice save!!

Wenderina said...

A little magic never hurt anyone. I was 40 before my mom finally spilled the beans on one of my favorite christmas miracle memories. I'm still trying to get over it and re-cpature some magic.

Your American Idol! said...

So is he real, or is he not real? I'm hanging on the fricking edge of my seat here, not sure what to believe.

Pam said...

Yeah for you and giving her innocence and magic just a little longer.

ajillofalltrades said...

lol that's so cute!!

You rock!

Lily's Mommy said...

You are a very awesome mom. My daughter is terrified of Santa so I'm trying to think of another angle. The Spirit of Christmas? Giving to those in need? Letting mommy sleep past 5 in the fucking morning?

brutusdad said...

You Rock! That is so awesome!

Miss Merry Sunshine said...

Good save!!

Jacquie said...

Godd save Mom!! You seriously rock!

The Royal Me said...

Dude, that made me well-up at my desk!!! Happy HOlidays!! You're a BADASS momma!

Bluestreak said...

such a sweet story.

Vodka Mom said...

In my house the motto is:

If you don't believe, you don't receive......

we play pretend EVERY YEAR.

Sheri said...

Oh, I should not read things like this when I am barely postpartum. Bawling does not quite describe things here. :P That was a great save!

Kat said...

That made me cry! You're the best mom! That was a GREAT idea. She'll figure it out eventually, but what a gift you gave her, letting her hang on for a while longer. Love it!