Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The end of an era...

I am a little sad today. It seems my little girl isn't so little anymore. This is becoming more abundantly clear with each passing day. And now, because she has entered "young adult-hood" Christmas will forever be changed in her life and ours.

As you all know, Kaylea is 10 now. For the last 2 Christmases we have fully expected the BIG question to come from her lips. You all know the question I am referring to; it is the question that every parent of every young child dreads at Christmastime. I'm sure each of you are wondering when your little one will ask it, also. I always swore that I would not lie to Kaylea when she directly asked the question. Only she never did.

Finally, this year for many reasons we decided the truth needed to come out. I have received several e-mails over the past few weeks about the "spirit" of Christmas. I would share these with Kaylea hoping it would encourage her to ask me, but no luck. Every opportunity I was given, I would try to ease her into the subject, but she wasn't taking the bait. Then yesterday, she had a friend over to play and they were chatting up a storm. Suddenly, Kaylea looks at her friend and says, "Did you know that there is someone in our class that doesn't believe in Santa Clause?" Kaylea's friend gave her a puzzled and amused look and replied, "yes, like me and a whole bunch more." Then her friend looked at me and said, "Ms. Jennifer, you mean you haven't told Kaylea the truth about Santa Clause, yet? My mom told me the truth 2 years ago."

I guess the thing that rang in ears was her friends use of the word "truth." I know I haven't boldface lied to Kaylea. I would just dance around the subject. She would tell me about a child that didn't believe and I would respond, "oh no, Santa won't come see them if they don't believe." I guess I was so convincing with that argument that Kaylea decided she would believe for life. Even after her friend called me out, Kaylea didn't even ask a single question.
Once her friend went home, I sat her down and talked to her. I told her the truth, but I also explained to her the history of Saint Nicholas and how the modern day Santa Clause came about. I explained that all of us have a little portion of Santa Clause inside us because we share in the magic of Christmas. We give gifts from the heart to our family and complete strangers while expecting nothing in return. That is the true spirit of Christmas. But most importantly, we talked about the true reason for celebrating Christmas. I reminded her that Christmas is the celebration of Christ's birth. This is a time to honor Him and celebrate Him.

After our talk I looked at her and said, "Kaylea, why haven't you asked me if Santa is real?" She replied, "Well, I guess I just believed it so much, I didn't think I had to ask." I wonder how long she would have kept believing, had we not had our talk? I guess I'll never know, but I feel good knowing that she heard the truth from me. I am also so proud of my child for sticking to her beliefs. For several years, kids have told her Santa isn't real, but she never wavered in her belief. I know that her love and commitment to the Lord will stay with her throughout her life and I know she will have the same unshakable faith in Him.

As Kaylea went to bed last night she asked me one final question, "Mom, can I still leave cookies our for Santa, I mean you, on Christmas Eve?" And of course, I told her she could do anything she wanted to. We will carry on all of our Christmas traditions as long as she wants.

Now, here are Kaylea's years with Santa for all of us to enjoy............

Kaylea's 1st Christmas - 1998

She was never afraid of Santa

Ah, those were the days - 2000

I think she was a little star struck

What a cutie pie.

Kaylea getting a great BIG Santa hug.

She just asked Santa for a puppy and he said o.k. (after asking Dad and Mom).

They were having a very deep conversation.

She was probably doin' some splainin'

The last picture of Kaylea with Santa.

We never got her to see him last year (kick, kick!!!!)


overtly trite said...

aww how sweet you have me tearing up this morning. Why do they have to grow up so damn fast?!