The Talk

For Will, the past year has been the year of “the talk.”

First, there was “THE talk.”  Conducted by his father, it was alarmingly short and sweet.  That was followed by “the talk” at school – family life class.

More “the talk” this year in middle school health.  Much more.  Enough to make a kid break down.  They covered some pretty disturbing (but important) stuff.

And now, it’s time for “the talk” again.  Although the subject matter is much less discomforting than puberty and hormones and body parts gone amuck.

It’s time for the Santa talk.

Truthfully, it’s been awhile in coming.  He’s 12.  Do I think he believes in Santa?  No.  Do I think he believes in the magic?  Yes.  Do I think he’s scared of admitting he doesn’t believe for fear he won’t get anything?  Yes.  I may or may not have convinced him of that when he questioned me at age 7.  In hindsight, maybe not my best move but I was never great at thinking on my feet.  And maybe, just maybe, he was ready to not believe anymore, but I wasn’t yet.  So yes, it was a little selfish.  But he would not have been able to keep that from his 5-year-old sister or 3-year-old brother.  This I know.

He probably hasn’t believed for some time.  I suspect that he wants to talk about it, but he hasn’t yet.  Lately, I’m discovering a sensitivity to this child that I didn’t know existed.  Maybe he just doesn’t want to definitively HEAR THE WORDS.  Discovering how he got here set his world on its ear (he wouldn’t even look at me for days), hearing for certain about Santa could be the final blow to his childhood.  OK, that’s a little dramatic.

Or is it?

Maybe it would be better for all of us to let him exist in this suspended state between pretend and reality.  Do I want to be the one who, once and for all, ends the charade?

You know, as I was tucking him in the other night (he still wants me to do this – smile), I noticed in the glow of the lamp a faint dusting of blonde hair on his upper lip.

It took my breath away.

It’s time.

I’m sad to see this time end, but strangely, I felt excited about this next phase with him.  I’m discovering so many new things about him lately (example above).  When one chapter ends, another begins.

Here’s to new beginnings.


One of my little cousins cried when she had to have the Santa talk...she then exclaimed "Does that mean the tooth fairy and Easter bunny are fake too?"

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