For a while now the Youngest Island Boy has been asking me about Santa.
My gut reaction every time he asked was to tell him not to believe anyone else and that YES! Santa is real.
About a month ago the Island King and I had a long talk about when to tell him the truth.
I said "We never admit that Santa doesn't live at the North Pole!"
The Island King believes that when a 9 year old comes to his parents and asks them to tell him the truth about Santa that it's time to tell him.
"You shouldn't lie to him at his age. If he asks you a serious question like this it's important to tell him the truth so he'll know he can trust you" he says.
Which makes sense and I do agree with.
As Christmas got closer the Youngest stopped asking about Santa so I thought I'd get one more Christmas in before he knew the truth.
But on Christmas Eve he came into the room, looked me right in the eye and said "Mom, do you swear to me that Santa is real?"
The Island King started giving me the evil eye from across the room and I knew I had to tell him the truth.
I explained that Santa is real but that he's a spirit that lives in all of us and that Santa is the spirit of giving but there is no Santa Claus at the North Pole making toys with elves.
I then told him that just because he knows this now that nothing will change.
Dad and I have always been Santa and we will continue to do all of the things that Santa does every year.
He seemed relieved. I think he's known for a while but needed confirmation and I know he was afraid that if Santa wasn't real then Santa wouldn't come to his house.
I was doing a pretty good at not crying until he said...
"So I guess there's no Easter Bunny and no Tooth Fairy either, right?"
BOOM! It was like I'd been shot in the heart with a double barrel shot gun.
From there all good parenting went out the window.
I lost it. I started crying and couldn't stop.
Luckily, the Island King was there to take over and told him not to freak out - Mom was just having a Mom moment because everybody is growing up so fast.
It was awful. He was upset because he thought asking me to tell him the truth upset me so he shouldn't have asked.
I managed to stop crying and explained that it wasn't his fault and I think he felt a little better.
He left the room and I cried for 15 more minutes.
Later, I walked through the living room and he said "I wished I'd never asked about Santa. When my kids ask me I'm going to wait until they're 10 to tell them."
More shotgun blasts to my heart.
I made it out of the room, yelled at the Island King for making me tell him the truth, and then cried some more.
Obviously, I knew he wouldn't believe in Santa forever but did this have to happen on Christmas Eve?!
Christmas morning happened like it always did and that night the Youngest came up and gave me a big hug and said "Thank you, Santa"
That made me feel good but now it's official.
My babies are not babies any more.
I suggested that we might want one more baby and after the Island King picked himself up off the floor he asked me if I'd lost my mind.
And he left the room with a parting shot -
"We are not having any more children - we are both too damn old to have another one!"
I know he's right but it's still sad to see them all growing up.