It's a question I knew was coming. Yet, I wasn't quite prepared to answer it.
So, if I have answered questions like, "Do babies come out of your belly button?" and follow up questions like, "Then, do they come out of your bottom?" I can certainly answer a question about a tooth-taking, money-leaving fairy.
I have never felt like the belief in and promotion of legendary figures in our family was wrong. But, there have been times that I have grown tired of the lengths we must go to to keep up their existence. Sneaking around after dark. Throwing away boxes in a dumpster instead of our own trash. Trips to the convenience to buy something, just so we can get cash. Writing notes of apology for the forgetful fairy.
My girls are 10 and 7 and have been asking lots of questions lately about the realness of these legendary figures. We managed to get through Christmas with Santa and his reindeer intact, but I knew the end was coming soon. And, I was right.
Sunday. The questions started coming again. This time about the Tooth Fairy, since she had, once again, forgotten to leave money the night before and attempted to sneak it in Sunday morning. Not the greatest move. But, obviously part of a bigger plan.
While the questions began at home, they became more intense during the car ride to church. The car...where the greatest of questions always seem to come out. Car conversations are deep in our family.
Thanks to a sniffly boy, it was only the girls and I in the car. The time had come. We talked about the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Each one triggering the realization that if one didn't exist, neither did the other.
What about God? E mentioned that one of her friends had lumped God together with the others. Not the same thing, I said. God is NOT a legendary figure. He is real. They understood.
We laughed as we talked. They were not disappointed or sad. They did not hate me or call me a liar. They were ready to hear it. In fact, E was amazed at how we had pulled it off.
They wanted to know how it all started, these legends. For the most part, I told them, I didn't know. But, my parents had done it for me and we had chosen to do it for them.
Of course, I did the wise mama thing and told them they were not to discuss this with their brother, friends, etc. I explained to them that if they had not been ready for this information, they would have felt sad to hear it. You don't want to make your friends sad, do you? They got it.
Finally, we arrived at church. The conversation was over, almost. As we exited the car, A said, "But leprechauns are definitely real. Right?"
Yep. That's a conversation for another time.
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