Thursday, December 25, 2008

Don't go breakin' my heart

When Ethan was about two and a half we were getting the milk and cookies ready to leave for Santa. I was putting the cookies on the plate and asked Ethan to grab the milk from the fridge. He went in the fridge, but milk isn't what he got. He grabbed a can of Bud Light. He said that he wanted to leave Santa beer because that's what his daddy liked to drink. And if his daddy liked to drink it, then Santa would too. It was the most adorable thing ever and I couldn't deny him. So, every year it's been our tradition to leave Santa one can of beer (must be Bud Light) and cookies. Santa drinks the beer, crushes the can, leaves behind cookie crumbs, and writes Ethan a note.

Eight years later, Ethan's been told (see: made fun of) that there is no Santa and he's stupid for believing. Some kids are such fuckers. So he asked us the dreaded question, "Is Santa real?" My response to him was, "If you believe in him, then he's real. If you don't believe, then he's not." He spent the past month really pondering the validity of jolly ol' Saint Nick.

Last night we went to Joe's sisters house to celebrate Christmas - Italian style. Between his sisters they have 5 children, all boys and all under the age of 8. They all still believe in Santa. They all gathered around the computer to check out the Santa tracker website. Ethan was ecstatic! He said, "OH YEAH!! This is PROOF that Santa's real!" He was so stoked and couldn't wait to get home to leave Santa his beer and cookies and write him a letter. We stopped at the store to pick up cookies but he decided that doughnuts would be better. We had beer at home, just not Bud Light, but Ethan said that what we had would be OK. After we got home he went right to writing the letter. Here's what it said:

"Dear Santa Claus I hope you like your beer and donuts. Sorry we don't have the beer we usually give you, Bud Light. Am I the only one who gives you beer circle yes or no? Grab the beer out of the fridge so it will stay cold. We got IC Light hope you like it. Don't crush the can put it in the Propel box on the kitchen counter so we can recycle it. Tree is downstairs but be careful, there is a dog. Use magic to make her go to sleep so she cannot bark and bite you. I would like an I-Pod, PS2 games, DS games, a laptop with mouse and internet explorer, clothes and stuff like a gold chain. Please oh please oh please wake me up so I know that you're really real. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE and I will always always always believe in you for ever and ever and ever until I die. So wake me up after you read this. If you do wake me be quiet so you do not wake up the people that sleep next door. Wright back on the back of this paper. I still believe in you so please don't let me down."

I read the letter, looked at him and said, "That's a really nice letter, Boogie." Then I quickly got up and went downstairs. Then the tears came. I sat and talked to Joe about what to do. I didn't want to continue with the facade and have him go to school to face ridicule when he bragged that Santa actually IS real. At the same time, I didn't want to break his heart by telling him the truth. I knew I had to tell him, the question was when. After Joe and I deliberated, I said, "Let's go tell him right now." Joe agreed and asked me if I wanted him to break the news. I figured that would be best, considering I was a crying mess.

We went upstairs to find Ethan decorating the letter with markers. Joe and I sat down on the couch and Joe asked him what his thoughts were on Santa. He answered with, "The other kids at school don't think he's real, but I do." Then Joe said, "I hate to be the one to tell you this, Buddy, but Santa isn't real." He got this blank look on his face as he stared at the wall, then his face turned bright red and tears started pouring from his eyes. He covered his eyes with his hands, sobbed and put his head down on the table. He wanted SO badly to believe and was completely disappointed. His little heart was broken and so was mine.

I made him come sit on my lap and explained why parents tell their kids there's a Santa and that it's ok for him to be sad. I also explained that this is somewhat of a turning point in his life and I compared it to the one hair he claims to have on his balls....he's getting older. I said that when he grows up and has children, he can enjoy reliving the idea of Santa all over again. I asked him what he was thinking and he said, "I really got my hopes up that there was a Santa. I wanted him to wake me up so I could know for sure that he's real." God damn, he wanted to believe in Santa so badly. It was a rough thing for both of us.

Later on he kept reminding me of the the gifts that were supposed to have been from Santa and making sure that they were actually from me. He asked about all the notes that Santa left and how they had all the right things written on them. As he reflected back, he put all the pieces together and clearly saw how we were in fact Santa. He's OK with it now, but I still think he's a little disappointed. As am I.

I hope everyone's having a WONDERFUL Christmas and that your day is filled with joy.

Deep Throat of the Day: Ball hair and Santa. I'm a horrible person.


Grant said...

BLASPHEMY! There is too a Santa Claus. I hope Batman slaps you around good for spreading such lies.

And Merry Thursday to you too.

Britni said...

This story just broke MY heart! You made the cold-hearted Jew with a hangover cry on Christmas!

Southern Sage said...

well i reckon everyone figures it out sooner or later.
The ball hair wil be there tho!
so he's at 50%!!

Hope y'all had an awesome Christmas!!!

J R Estelle said...

Wait...what? No Santa? Like hell, I'm 36 and I believe and that's all that matters.

Jason said...

Poor fella.

I guarantee beer and donuts will be the Santa-snack tradition in my household when I become a dad.

Rich said...

If he woke you up you could share a beer with him.

NWJR said...

I told my kids that Santa is real..."he" is Mom and Dad, and when they got older, they became Santa to their kids, or for other kids around them. They "got" that.

I remember being really disappointed, but I came out of it OK. Ethan will, too. It's no reflection on are NOT a horrible person.

Lori said...

Just had my youngest (11) go through her last *Santa* holiday too. But as my older three told her, if YOU believe Santa is real, and thus, we will always have Santa here. Ethan was sad I am certain, I recall when my now 22 found out. He was 9 his dad just left us (a 5yao, 15 month old and pg with youngest :/ and he told me he knew we had no money and since *he had so many other Christmas's to use any money we had to get things for the *little* ones argh!!! Things like this kill us moms...but let me tell you as so many told me then, I AM so DAMNED proud of the man he is now! We get through they get through, and as long as there is love, Heck there is always great things!! I AM really thinking that donuts and beer thing could catch on!!!! ((((HUGS)))) to you and your growing up young man and LOL that *ball* hair!
Lori in WY

Randi said...

You know, as long as he believes in Christmas spirit... that's Santa enough for me.

Kira said...

I'm so sorry, April. How traumatizing for all of you! I can see it playing out like this for Jared one day, too. In second grade at his school, pretty much everybody believes so he's ok. He'll be very upset when he realizes that Santa is really mom and dad...

Ariana, on the other hand, told me when she was 9 yrs old "Mom, Santa has your handwriting and uses your wrapping paper. I think I figured it out." That was totally trauma-free because she felt so smart to put the puzzle together that she was filled with pride instead of sadness...then I told her that if she didn't believe in Santa, Santa didn't bring her gifts. So, if you ask her today, at 11, she'll tell you--yes, I believe in Santa Claus :)