What do you tell your media saturated kids when they ask you if Santa is real?
I tell them he is, describe how he can fold his body up to slide down our chimney. I tell them which reindeer are the oldest, fastest, strongest; what their favorite foods are (if you read my food post, you can guess which). There are girl reindeers, of course. Mrs. Claus is Sara, an artist who specializes in animal portraiture.
I feel guilty lying to my kids (though their faces are adorable sucking it all up.) I wonder how old they will be when they figure me out. Will they be mad, sad, disillusioned? Will they ever believe me or take me seriously again?
Probably, it’s no big deal. I don’t know, because I didn’t grow up believing any of this stuff. I thought, for the longest time– until I was way too old– that there was a clear line between truth and fiction, and I knew it absolutely. Not only did that conviction drive me to become a philosophy major (virtually unemployable) but I think it made some universal parts of growing up slower than they had to be (or this could be just my latest excuse for prolonged adolescence.) Anyway, now I believe that all these myths serve a brilliant purpose: a gentle way for kids to learn well-intended parents are not always reliable sources of truth.