You wanna know how I know this? Because Ryan has already reminded the kid next door that Santa Claus is dead.
Fortunately (?), it was not quite the life-changing trauma it was last year when Ryan casually exploded this information bomb in my family room, but then again, the two boys didn't really get into the discussion too deeply. I redirected the conversation--not because I don't think Santa is dead or because I am anti-Santa and naturally I prefer to be upfront with these sorts of things particularly in my own house, but. But, but, but. Those two boys had been arguing about every single freaking possible thing since the minute they saw each other, we still had about an hour to go until my friend would be back to pick him up from my house, and plus it was this other kid's birthday. Talk about the potential for a debate with a good old-fashioned fistfight ending!
Later, I discussed it with Ryan. Yes, the legend of Santa Claus is based on one (maybe two?) probably historical guy and if in fact he did walk the earth he is most certainly pushing up daisies right at this particular moment.
"I know, Mom!" Because, you know, he Already. Knows. EVERYTHING. Durr.
So then I reminded him that sure, it's nice to pretend there is a Santa and remember the legend and I of course think it's kind of fun myself. But there are some people, most people, who like to pretend so hard that Santa is real and alive that they want to just believe it and nothing he says is going to change their mind about it until they are ready to change their mind about it. And in the meantime it's just another thing to argue about with his friend, and don't you two already argue and get sad with each other enough? (Answer: yes)
"Oh. I forgot about that part." Hey, at least he acknowledged that, right? I'll take it.
It's very difficult to explain to a child why adults would want to make their kids believe something is real when it's not. Even just typing it out in this here blog post is weird. So even though I skirted around that issue a bit with him, I fully expect him to catch on and pound me with questions. It's his way. Oh I can hear him now: Do grownups believe Santa is real? No? Just the kids? Why would the grownups tell the kids Santa is real when he's dead? I thought grownups were supposed to say what is true.
It's going to be a loooonnnnggg holiday season. Thank Zeus for The Great Pumpkin. At least he's real!