Mommy, you know Santa Claus isn't real, right?
What do you mean, Buddy?
Well, you know. He's not real. He's fiction.
How do you know that, Bud?
Remember last year? Daddy dressed up as Santa Claus, so I know he isn't real.
OH LOOK! Let's go play on the playground.
I replayed this conversation to Jon last night, since the conversation happened between me and James on Saturday on our walk home from the Sauerkraut Festival in town.
Jon was all "You told him Santa Claus is real, right?!".
But I didn't. I told Jon it has always been his thing and his family's thing to make a big deal about Santa Claus. I just went along because it was their family thing. I didn't want to push it and be all Sally Sucks Santa Claus's big toe downer. But in reality, I don't/didn't want my kids to believe in him, as if he IS a real being that visits our house at Christmas time. Ever. The few years they've played along, I've sensed they've played along because others were playing along.
So this conversation I had with James was a relief. I knew he knew and he was letting me know he knew and me knowing he knew means I didn't need to confirm what he knew what he knows.
That sentence was hard to write.
James is not/was not sad about his epiphany. He is categorically aligning things that he knows into fact or fiction and Santa is one of those anomalies he had to fit into his black and white thinking.
I'm going to give him a little time and the conversation will come up again. We will take it further and talk about beliefs and how we don't criticize what others believe. We will believe in a quiet way, what we want to believe. There is no harm in them not knowing what we believe.
I also suspect that come Christmas time, he will be all "SANTA CLAUS!!!" and be okay with pretending. Pretending is okay.
I have more thoughts on this, because I'm trying each year to make the "season" about home, family and hearth, than about material things we buy. What are your thoughts?