So my 7-year-old son announces at the breakfast table, "There's no such thing as Santa." As you can imagine, this catches the 4-year-old's attention pretty quickly. "WHAT?" says the 4-year-old.
I grab Tall by his sleeve and yank him out of the room. (Okay, maybe not my proudest Parenting Moment.) "Tall, who told you that?" I demand.
"Older kids on the bus," he confesses timidly. Those damn Older Kids. Always ruining everything for everyone else.
"Well, then I guess Santa doesn't come to their house," I say, channeling my mother or Bing Crosby or Carol Brady or someone-who-knows-how-to-handle-dissension.
In the next few seconds, all the childhood myths cloud my brain: Easter Bunny, Leprechauns, Tooth Fairy. We tell our children to believe in Santa Claus and they do. They trust us. Until one day, the fable explodes, and then they say:
"Mommy? Does God exist?"
("Mashing Our Values")