Thursday, November 29, 2007

Damn "They". Where is my handbook?

Where is my Parents' Handbook? As a parent, there are just some things in life you are never quite ready for, and no one ever prepares you. Take, for instance, my kids and I were driving home from the mall the other day after having their pictures taken with Santa. While in the car, my 7 year old daughter said, "Hey mom, I don't know how to tell you this, but I know that the Santa we just met at the mall isn't real." I was quiet, not sure how to respond. "W-W-What? What do you mean? Santa's not real?" I asked pretending to be shocked.

"Well," she said, "Of course he is real, but I think all the mall Santas are fake and they are just filling in for the REAL Santa. The REAL Santa is too busy at the North Pole trying to get ready for Christmas and he doesn't have time to go to the malls. Plus, I don't think he wants all those kids sitting on his lap. I just wanted you to know that that Santa wasn't the REAL Santa." I couldn't help but smile. I looked in my rearview mirror and looked at my 9 year old son as he gave me a smile and a nod. Our secret smile and nod.

My son found out the "truth" about Santa, which I won't reveal here just in case some of you aren't privy to the truth, about two years ago. Ever since he figured it out, he seems to think it is very cool that he is in on the "secret". Whenever my daughter talks about Santa, I think he feels all grown up and gives me a secret smile and nod because he knows and she doesn't know. He puffs his chest out just a little, gives me a look, and well, I think he thinks he is becoming a man because he is in on the secret. He is growing up.

I wish I could freeze time and keep them little and innocent forever. I will miss the days of the letters to Santa and her hope that he will read her letter and bring her what she wants. I will miss putting out the cookies and milk for Santa and his reindeer. It will be an end to something magical; as if the last of the childhood magic has be used up.

You know, this is the stuff "they" don't tell you about before you have kids. "They" don't tell you that it will make you sad when your kids no longer believe. "They" don't tell you that overnight they go from diapers, to riding bikes, to helping put out the presents. "They" don't tell you.

Part of me is sad that this could possibly be her last year of believing; I want her to be a little girl forever, but I know that isn't an option. I never knew something like this would make me feel sad. How come "they" didn't put this stuff in the Parents' Handbook? How come "they" didn't give me a Parents' Handbook? How come "they" didn't prepare me that my kids' growing up would make me feel sad? Damn "they".

(c)2007 Cindy Breninger All Rights Reserved.

16 comments:

MrJourneyman said...

Cindy -

Thank you for sharing your reality with us. As a new dad, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your "handbook" post, and as I skimmed through your previous posts, I was very touched by your thoughts on "normal families", and found a sense of safety and comfort in your thoughts on the whole "gay issue." You appear to be a very beautiful soul, and, as a new dad, as a gay man striving to provide his son and his partner with a "normal" family, and as a human being, I look forward to reading more of what you have to share! Peace!
Jason, aka "MrJourneyman"

Michelle Hix said...

Wow, okay, I was going to post something sarcastic, funny, whatever, like I normally would but after reading mrjourneyman I can't. He's just too nice! How can I follow that?

Michelle Hix said...

Wow, okay, I was going to post something sarcastic, funny, whatever, like I normally would but after reading mrjourneyman I can't. He's just too nice! How can I follow that?

Michelle Hix said...

Wow, okay, I was going to post something sarcastic, funny, whatever, like I normally would but after reading mrjourneyman I can't. He's just too nice! How can I follow that?

Maria said...

Ahh. I know what your mean. My 7 year old sons believes without a doubt in Santa. It kind of makes me happy he's only in first grade because maybe if he was in second someone might tell him "something".
We're going to see Santa soon in the mall so he can tell him he wants the Wii! I love it!

BusyDad said...

I know exactly what you mean. I am so proud when my son reaches the next milestone, but with that triumph comes the realization that he's one more step removed from the "little guy" whose shoes I could once hang from my rearview mirror.

Grilled Pizza said...

Cindy what a lovely post.
I have a toddler niece and can imagine how it will feel when she finds out the truth about Santa, nevermind when i have my own kids!

OHmommy said...

Awwww, your little man "puffs his chest out." That is too cute. My 5 year old and I have a secret too (he can stay up a little later then the girls) and he too puffs his chest and gives me a nod.

Darling. Let's work together and freeze time.

Die6oS3ara said...

Yes, it´s a lovely post...

I want believe in Santas (o the "Three kings", i´m from Spain)forever... is it possible??.. i think i so!
As a song: "(...)aún sigo buscando en la cara de ancianos pedazos de niño(...)"

maybe maybe may be..no?

Kitty said...

What a coincidence! I am midway through writing a blog about the very subject of believing in Santa! It's so difficult isn't it ... how and when the kids lose their 'belief' is so varied.

Take care :-) x

Holly said...

This blog is so sweet. I am pregnant and rushing it big time..mainly because I am miserable. I have heard from many moms that time just flys by and they dident get to be kids for very long. But I agree, I dont want her to grow up and get married, I want to keep her my baby forever.

Mom Making Money said...

Thanks for sharing this. I've got a 10 month old - I can't believe how quickly the time goes :)

Mom Making Money said...

Thanks for sharing this. I have a 10 month old and can't believe how quickly the time goes. This Christmas he'll be a little too young to understand what's going on, but by next year he'll be getting into the magic of the holiday :)

Zoe said...

ugg. my 5 year old is already questioning santa. i always tell him "if you don't believe, he won't come"...the believing is the magic. so far so good.

shannon-n-god i stand said...

lol i found this rather funny you seem to be the best mom and as a teen i can say that you havent seen nothing yet till you have to tell them there grounded thats a trip i know i give my mom a hard time over being grounded even if i know why and that i should be but it still gets to me so keep it up your a good mom

Angelface79 said...

Thanks for sharing! They do grow up so fast.