If you have children of reading age and they tend to be the nosy, peek-over-your-shoulder types—or even if they're sitting several feet behind you but maybe they have super hero vision—you're going to want to make them leave.
Are they gone?
I'm going to tell you something. I'm not proud of it. But it's one of those things that, if it hadn't been me, I'd be telling everyone because it's kind of hilarious once you get over the initial heart-breaking-ness of it all. So it's only fair.
Last weekend, I told my nephew there was no such thing as Santa Claus.
Not in so many words, of course. It wasn't that bad. But I definitely didn't have the foresight or decency to pull him aside and murder his childhood privately and quietly. I just blurted it out:
"So when I found out about Santa, I said 'OK, so Santa's not real...what about Jesus?'" *
Several minutes after Cliff and my dad had already snatched that dream-crushing baton and started sprinting with it, my sister-in-law leaned over to me and said, "Aidan doesn't know that, yet...well...I guess he does now."
It was only my second strike. I'd already made the mistake of mentioning the fact that Rob bought me a sweater one Sunday when we were in Carlsbad, which prompted a hurried discussion of oxen and mires. But I guess things with kids are more like BASE jumping than baseball. You really only get one shot to get it right. And I blew it. Splat! Me, in pieces on the ground. Big, stupid, bloody chunks of child fantasy-killer.
We all realized the horror of my words at the same time, so no one could save me from myself. More unfortunately, no one could save Aidan from my hateful indulgence in the sad, Santa-less truth.
In an effort to make me feel better, Aidan's mom said, "It's OK, Gretta. I didn't even realize what you said until I looked up and saw the expression on his face."
I guess losing track of your Christian mythology is inevitable when your experience with children is limited to infants and Jewish kids.
*This comment may be addressed in a later post.
UPDATE: Kim (Aidan's mom) told Rob that she and Aidan were watching the Simpsons episode where Homer tries to capture Santa Claus, and she decided to probe a little. She asked him if he would ever try to catch Santa. "No way!" he said. "If I'm not asleep, he won't even come!"
Phew! Thank you, Jeebus. ;)