This Christmas goes down in the Bullock history books as the year that Avery found out about Santa!
I SWEAR that he found out by accident! At least, consciously...it was an accident. Subconsciously? Probably notsomuch!
We bought each of the kids electric Razor scooters from Santa. We put them together the week before Christmas, and charged them, while the kids were staying at Jake's mom's for the weekend.
We wanted to get rid of the evidence, and a brilliant idea was hatched that when we picked up the kids, we would leave the big scooter boxes in Jake's mom's trash...and our kids would be none-the-wiser.
Well, Avery happened to walk by the truck, and happened to peer into the tinted windows, and happened to see the three scooter boxes, and happened to even notice what color each of the scooters was...as he "happened to glance in the truck." I think he did a little more than glance. I think he was snooping, but, that's neither here, nor there!
He raced to find me and said, "Mom...Mom...MOM! Why are there three scooter boxes in the back of the truck? There's two red ones, and a pink one! What are they for?"
Caught off guard, I fumbled, "Uhhh...Ummmmm. Uh. We're throwing those away for Aunt Taylor. Don't tell the other kids, okay."
After I said it...I realized how stupid it was to lie. He would obviously awake on Christmas morn, to two red scooters and a pink one in his living room, and he would hear his parents claim that they were left by Jolly Old Saint Nick. !
When things like this have happened in the past, I have rearranged gifts with my mom, or Jake's mom, and switched up what the kids would receive from Santa...so, that the fat guy's gifts were always a surprise. Not this year. We decided to let this one run it's course. Avery is on the tail end of his Santa believing years, anyway...so, it was time.
I was positively GIDDY!
Just as we expected, in the early morning hours of Christmas Day, while Lily and Jack did happy dances around their pile of Santa loot, Avery stood aside. The reality that his parents were big fat liars was dumped on top of his head, and he stood there, covered in it. Confused. Disappointed. Not knowing how to react, he slathered on his best poker face. He smiled, laughed, and kept this revelation to himself all day long.
Later that night, while I tucked him into bed, alone with him for the first time that day, I said, "Did you have a good Christmas, Buddy?"
He looked defeated, and his disappointment was evident in his speech, when he said, "Yeah, Mom. I guess I did," as he averted his eyes away from mine.
Feeding the elephant in the room a peanut, I said, "So, did you just totally catch us this year, or what?"
Relieved to be able to vent his frustration, he came alive, and said, "UH...YEAH! I DID!"
Rhetorically, he asked, "You guys are Santa??" He said it again. This time, it was a statement. It was accusatory, "YOU GUYS ARE SANTA!!!"
Finally speaking nothing but the truth, I said, "Yup! We sure are! It's just something fun that moms and dads do for their kids on Christmas. It's fun to pretend, and it's fun to see how magical you kids think it is."
He was silent for a minute, then began firing the questions at me, in rapid succession.
"So, elves are real, but Santa's not?"
Laughing, I answered, "Nope. Elves aren't real either."
Another revelation, "Oooooooh...so, you guys just go out and buy the toys?"
"Yes, son. That's exactly what we do."
"And all those letters to Santa? Where do they go?"
I replied, "Well, we let you put them in the mailbox, and after you kids were in bed, we would get the letter out of the mailbox. I stash them in a keepsake box to save in your baby books. I have all the letters you've written through the years."
"And what about all the things on the news about Santa? And that Santa network on our satellite? What is that about?"
Again, with the truth, I said, "Yeah...us grownups just kinda work together on keeping the magic of Christmas alive for our kids. It's kind of a big ole conspiracy --"
He interrupted me, fingering big, dramatic air quotes, and said, "Oh...Oh...And "SANTA" eats those cookies we leave out for him, huh?! YOU GUYS EAT THE COOKIES, DON'T YOU?! OH.MY.GAAAWD! THIS IS CRAZY! All this time, you had me believing in Santa. All this time, you guys sneak around at night, pretending to be Santa?!"
I could see yet another revelation in his eyes, and he said, "OH MY GAAAAAWD! The other day, when I lost a tooth? Don't tell me you're the tooth fairy, too! Mom, are you the Tooth Fairy?"
"Yes. Guilty as charged. Dad and I are the Tooth Fairy, too!"
He was shocked, "So, when I put the tooth under my pillow, y'all come creeping in here, take it while I'm sleeping, and leave some money under there?!?"
He yelled, "That's weird!! You shouldn't sneak around in my room while I'm sleeping! That's weird!!" Then, he gasped, "WHAT ABOUT THE EASTER BUNNY?"
Not able to restrain myself from effing with him a bit, I said, "Naw...the Easter Bunny's real!"
"Oh...whew! Good! I thought...." He stopped himself short, and said, "You're just messing with me! That's mean! My whole life is a lie, and you're teasing me! Mom, that's mean!"
He began to laugh. So did I.
I explained, "We don't do it to be mean, kid. It's just something fun we do. You'll likely do it with your kids, too. I'm sorry you had to find out that way, but, I'm glad you know. Now you know that we have to work to pay for those things you guys get. They don't just magically appear! Just do me a favor...please don't tell your brother and sister. Let them find out for themselves, too, okay?"
He responded, "Mom...I would never tell Lily and Jack that Santa's not real. It would crush them if they found out, Mom. This morning, when they were so excited about what Santa brought, and I knew the truth...I cried. We can't tell them, ever, Mom! EVER!"
With that, I watched my boy grow up a bit. Actually, he grew up a lot. And, that crushed me a little!