Monday, December 17, 2007

The Demise of the Tooth Fairy and the End of Santa

It all started with the tooth fairy ...

One day earlier this year J, my daughter, was talking about the tooth fairy and the loss of her latest tooth. She looked up at me and said coyly (I thought), "I wish that the tooth fairy would leave me just a little bit extra this time!"

Oh no, she must know, I was thinking as she said this. I pondered how I should start to broach this subject.

We've had our close calls. One or two of her close friends had warned her that Santa didn't exist and we always managed to talk her out of it, insisting that they might not believe but we certainly did.

She noticed some years ago that Santa's writing resembled her dad's block like printing and confronted him. We managed somehow to wiggle out of that and then started to type all our notes instead. That worked for a while.

Sometimes she would leave little "traps" for Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, with hand scrawled notes or messages on a small blackboard we had set up in the dining room which asked: "Are you real? Check yes here ___ or no ___" or "Did you like the cookies? Check yes here ___ or no ___"

"Well J," I finally started after some fumbling. "You know ... there's no tooth fairy... uh, right?"

"WHAT?" she exclaimed in alarm. She promptly burst into tears.

Uh oh ...

"So whose been putting money in my tooth fairy box then?" she asked with some desperation.

"Well, uh, well, um, I guess that would be me and your daddy" ... Arrrggggh - what have I done? I thought she knew, I thought she was just waiting for me to tell her. I thought ...


"I uh I ... um," Oh sh*t ...

"So does that mean (look of horror passes over her face) that there's ... NO ... SANTA?"
Please someone vaporize me right now ...

"There's no Santa? There's no Santa? Why didn't you tell me? Why did you lie?" Dark eyes flashing, look of anger, frustration, discovery, confirmation of fear, all in rapid succession passed over her sweet face.

"Well it's not really a lie baby ... isn't it a lovely idea that Santa comes and brings gifts to children? And we do believe in the Christmas spirit, that people should come together and share food and good times and be generous ..." Cue the violins please ...

She softened a bit. She was not so angry.

"And wasn't it lovely to believe all this time?"

"Well yeah ..." Long wistful silence. "So what about the Easter Bunny?"

"Uh, you'll have to ask your dad about that."

I thought: I'm not taking a bullet for the Easter bunny too, no way.

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