Those of you who are my Facebook friends may remember a status update I did last week in which Krystal asked me if I were the Easter Bunny.
(Oh, and if you are not my Facebook friend and would like to be, let me know in email or a comment and I’ll “friend” you – no obligation though!)
I asked her what she thought and she said, quite confidently, that she thought I was. I agreed that indeed I was and gosh, how silly to think of a giant rabbit hopping around giving gifts. We laughed over that, and I said how happy I was to have a helper this year. She was delighted to be “in” on the secret and showed absolutely no sign of disappointment. Just like when she asked me about the Tooth Fairy, she seemed almost victorious in figuring it all out.
Two nights later when Belle was in the bathroom, Krystal sidled up to me and asked me quietly if I were the one who put things in stockings too. I had known we wouldn’t make it through another Christmas with full belief, but I didn’t expect it so close on the tail (get it! ha ha!) of the Easter Bunny. Knowing Belle would be back any second, and wanting to take some time to talk about it, I asked if we could talk later, since it wasn’t even that time of year. I thought she might forget about it for awhile in the hustle and bustle of life.
Nope – the next evening when I picked her up from school she asked me again. Just like I had with the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny, I asked her what she thought, and she said she thought yes. I asked if she were sure, and she said she was. I dragged that out as long as I could before saying that yes, parents are Santa Claus. We then talked about how that explains how some kids get iPods and cell phones (not us!) while other kids get books and games. In our family Santa doesn’t wrap and gives one big gift and a stocking, in others he wraps presents or might give all or most of the gifts. Santa does different things in different families because that is what the parents decide to do. One of the things I was careful to say was “Parents are Santa” rather than “There is no Santa”. I also told her about how we all have the spirit of Santa in us, even if there isn’t really a man in a red suit making all the toys. When I told her I’d need her help this year to be Santa with me for Belle, she was thrilled to have graduated to the next level.
I think I was a year older than Krystal, a third grader, when I learned the truth. While I don’t remember the moment of realization, I do remember feeling so disappointed that first Christmas. In fact, that year we got a tape recorder and my voice on the (long missing) tape sounds desperate and sad as I try to keep up the game for my younger sister.
Krystal felt no such sadness, even when I told her that story. She seemed to feel it was fun while it lasted, but it’s good to know the truth too. I really admire her approach to it all.
On Easter eve I assembled the Easter baskets after the girls were in bed, but Krystal really wanted to be part of it. So the next morning I had her go downstairs to see if the Easter Bunny had come, and she came back up very importantly announcing that he had, and we all went down to see the bounty. Several times throughout the day she would say something like, “I really should thank the Easter Bunny for all this,” and then give me a big wink.
Who says they grow up so fast? I do.