Santa Claus Goes Photo via Shutterstock.
I'm a little off my game this week, so when, without fanfare, I announced that there is no Santa, I was not of right mind. I apologize to my children, my husband, and to elves everywhere.
Here’s how it went down:
We sit down to pizza. It's been a week, husband away, kids pissed off about back to school, Dad being gone, Mom being sick and grumpy, just a lousy week that we've gotten through by being easy on the rules and each other with extra TV, and lots of chill time.
I start talking about the boys' electric scooters I sold on Craigslist. The guy is coming to pick them up tomorrow.
“You get the money, but some has to go into savings, and you need to clean them. He wants them from Santa for his kids.”
No freaking clue what I just said.
My twelve-year-old grins, “So basically, you just confirmed that you're Santa.”
I still don't get it. Yes, that's right—I'm that out of it.
I look over at my nine-year-old. He’s ear-to-ear grinning, eyes twinkling.
“I knew it! I mean, I thought so, but now I know for sure. You and Dad are Santa.”
I am the worst mother ever. They weren't even asking! I just announced it. The twelve-year-old tries to make me feel better by telling me he's known for years but has been playing along because it's fun.
Okay, I don't feel completely like throwing up, only a little. My younger son is digging my deer-in-headlights look. I may be Santa, but I am also capable of a colossal fuck-up. Mom: the anti-hero. He reaches over and strokes my arm.
“It's okay, Mom,” my youngest says. My youngest! It's really over now.
He's still stroking my arm. I wonder if I might cry. Meanwhile, they are fine. They are enjoying this.
“Can we just keep pretending?” I ask weakly. And it dawns on me what I've done. “And you can't tell any of the little kids. You have to promise. Don’t tell Rosa, or Luke or any of the other littles!”
“Mom, it's okay. We can pretend; we can still do cookies and carrots for Rudolph. And we won't tell anyone.”
I'm a wreck. We have adorable neighbor friends whom I call “littles,” and I'd hate to be that person for them.
“It's okay,” my older son says. “Mom, I've known for years. I’m kind of relieved. It’s a little creepy to think of a big fat stranger coming into the house in the middle of the night.”
We eat some more pizza.
“I'm so sorry, guys.”
“We knew. It's okay. You're still the best Mom.”
“I can't wait to tell Dad about this.”
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