A short message again today about a moment that happens in the life of a child. This time it happens to be my nine-year-old grandson.
Being good parents, my daughter and her husband tried hard to hide all the Easter candy that would fill the baskets of their two kids this coming Sunday morning. Their best laid plans failed though as their son found the stash in the trunk of the car where it was being hidden. The ensuing conversation turned into a truth telling session about the reality of the Easter Bunny and how the candy gets to the expected Easter baskets. After working very hard to explain the conflicts of the “real” truth about this annual event and how sometimes there are stories that adults tell to make moments special, my grandson was devastated by this news. He is a wonderful child with a vivid imagination and a belief that the world is generally a good place full of generally good people. And now he learns his parents have been foisting a tale about a magical rabbit on him forever.
As you might have figured out, the conversation didn’t stop with the debunking of the Easter Bunny myth. Yep, the questions about Santa Claus followed, and all the tap dancing and avoiding the issue couldn’t stop this train once it left the station. In one fell swoop, my trusting little boy had two of his favorite things in life crushed right before his mind’s eye. No Easter Bunny was a blow, but to find out from his parents that Santa wasn’t real was almost more than he could stand, declaring with all the raw emotion a nine year old can muster that “my whole life has been a lie!” I can only imagine how hard it was for him to fall asleep last night as the reality he counted on since he could count on anything was no more.
The magic in this moment was that both his parents were the ones to tell him about these new truths, and I am so glad he didn’t get straightened out by some bully 12 year old making fun of him for being a baby that still believed in Santa. Both his Mom and Dad were there to help him over this essential moment in life, and to let him know that he was now a trusted person in keeping the tale alive for his seven year old sister that is counting on a magical morning come this Sunday. I am tired of writing these things from home, but I am glad to share this one because a family moment was made more special because we’ve all been sent home.