My 11-year-old child no longer believes in Santa Claus. Nobody told her. At least that’s what she says. She just figured it out.
I figure it’s safe to write about it here. Anyone who can read, and is interested in reading a blog that is not about unicorns or Minecraft, is probably in on this secret.
I asked what she wanted and she ticked off a list. It was a list targeted at actual people (ie: “Christian said he’d take me to the store and let me pick out what I want.”) I raised the question: What will Santa bring you?
She looked at me flatly in a way that said, “I’m way too old for this,” and stated, “I know that–”
But I cut her off. I couldn’t bear in that moment to accept that the last vestiges of childhood are gone.
“What? What do you know?” I gasped like a wounded creature.
What a compassionate human I’ve raised. She chose her words carefully to break it to me gently, seeing that it was more devastating for me than it was for her to know we’re done with Santa.
“Well, I’ve come to realize Santa… is… you and Daddy and Christian and Yuki,” Olivia finished.
If you asked me about this moment ten years ago I would have laughed at the person I was today, all sensitive and slightly emotional. But I had to hear it for sure. So I pushed on.
“So, what about Santa?” I asked.
“There is no Santa, Mom,” she said, because I obviously wasn’t getting the point. Maybe this is the part where she worries if I’m connected to reality since I keep asking.
“O-M-G!” I cried. “Really? How do you know this? Did someone tell you at school? Did your friends talk about it?” I wanted to know.
“Nobody told me. I just figured it out,” she said.
Turns out, the wrapping paper and signed cards gave it away. We outsourced the Santa card duties to three different people over the years (me, Vicki, and Yuki), but she still questioned the wrapping or the ribbon-tying style. (Actually, she’s asked about this over the last two years.)
“What if Santa subcontracted the wrapping to others but got you the gift himself?” I insisted.
Which brought my astute girl to the next point: that it’s impossible for one man to be in a billion homes in a 24 hour period. “Just makes no sense,” as she put it.
In my desire to keep this magical myth alive, I cited “The Christmas Chronicles” on Netflix. “Santa moves at light speed to get in and out of those chimneys!” I reminded her.
“No, Mom,” she said, using that final tone of voice that I’ve used on her so many times.
She also added that she may have figured this out a couple years ago but didn’t let on in order to get an extra gift or two. So now, in addition to mourning another piece of passing childhood, I also feel suckered.
Well. On the upside, I no longer have to sneak around and get random people to write a card from Santa.
Merry Christmas, everyone.