A few weeks B.S.C. (before site crash), I made my first contribution to WeGotKidz.com. It was a call to parents to help me figure out how to break the news to my son that Santa Claus, as mythical figure, is not real. Well, Christmas was just two days ago and just as I said I would … I killed Santa. It turned out to be a mini event. Here’s the story…
My son made his Christmas wish list just a few days before Christmas day. This year’s list was much shorter than previous years. Only 4 items to be exact. There wasn’t much for him to want for as he has all the hot toys and gadgets already. We knew he wanted this portable gaming case for his home consoles so we ordered that early and it was kept at our neighbor’s place. Cross one off the list. The other three items were Mario Kart 7, a specific set of gaming headphones and a pro level Yo-Yo. Not unreasonable requests. Even still, the total of the 4 items is around $500.
We were committed to making it plain this year so we purposely skipped 1 of the items and substituted another. We didn’t buy him the Yo-Yo he wanted and we got him a less expensive set of gaming headphones. Mario Kart 7 was purchased by a friend so he got that one too. It was an experiment to see how he’d respond.
As usual, he went to bed as soon as he could and set out a small serving of cookies and milk for the magical gift giving fat guy. Though we knew we’d be killing Mr. Claus in a few hours, my wife at the cookies and left a few crumbs on the plate and poured the milk back into the carton. She wrapped the presents in a unique wrap and put them under the tree with the other presents.
My little guy woke up around 5:30 am. He came in and calmly woke us up with, “Good morning. It’s here!” We smiled and hopped to our feet to see him unwrap the gifts he’d so patiently waited for. He started off with the biggest box. The gaming case. He then opened the gaming headphones. Both “from Santa.” He then opened the regular stuff from Mom and Dad. Clothes, slippers, board games, etc.
He didn’t make a peep about everything not being there or that the headphones were different. Wait … what?
Well, not that I expected a hissy fit from him. He’s not that type of boy. I did expect him to say something though. He took his gaming case and hooked it up to a console and began to enjoy it. I was really tired so I went back to bed. My wife was in the kitchen starting dinner.
A short while after I had fallen asleep, my wife came into the bedroom to wake me. She said, “We have to talk to him now. He said that it sucks he didn’t get all the stuff he wanted.”
The moment was at hand. I was not ready. For all of my posturing prior to this moment, I was not ready to break the news. I made my way back to the living room and invited my hero to sit with me on the couch.
It was a bit of Q&A and a bit of “What does Christmas really represent?” As I was dancing around the statement, he got it. Then the tears came.
It wasn’t a loud and angry cry. It was a quiet … sad cry. I consoled him and told him that we just wanted him to experience a magic and wonder that we never got to experience as children. My wife is Japanese so Christmas wasn’t the same deal for her and I was just from a poor single parent home. We both agreed when our son was born that we’d do our best to give him the most full childhood we could.
He understood and I’m sure he is appreciative but he cried. Then I cried. For many reasons. I didn’t expect it to be so hard for ME. I was so sad and hurt for my boy. He went to his room and got into bed. I followed and asked him what he felt. “It hurts”, he said. I wept more. I then went to my wife and I broke down … sobbing. My son was right. It hurt.
I felt like I stole in an instant the very magic that we worked for 10 years to build for him. Ouch.
For a few hours he was really in low spirits. We let him take time to process his new information and by the time our dinner guests had arrived he was fine. We spoke about it a little more to make sure that he was truly in control of his feelings and he proved that he was. I am always awed and inspired by this young man. He guides me as much as I guide him. My wife and I are so grateful for having him in our lives.
Santa’s funeral was not at all what I expected. He gave me one of the best Christmas gifts ever in his death. Maybe he’s more real than I know…