Reality Bites.

December 13th, 2010

I blame it all on the Tooth Fairy.

Who would have thought the lives of two children would change with a simple question over a bowl of cornflakes? It was such an ordinary moment; none of us saw it coming.

“Why didn’t she come again?”

-Dammit, I forgot, again!
“I don’t know sweetie, I guess the tooth fairy had a big week this week”

But it was the next question “Is she even real?” that slapped me fair square across the face. I could feel us spiraling into territory I wasn’t quite prepared for,
not at 7:45 am and not with my baby!

I could only half smile, tilt my head and shrug as I weighed up the truth with the death of childhood fantasies. It is a close call: Lie and keep the dream alive in one corner, honesty and trust in the other.
“Well…” and right there in that slight pause, she figured it all out.

“So she’s not?” her voice wobbled. Well, as you can imagine, one thing lead to another and before we knew it we were throwing the lot out, Easter Bunny was next to go, then the big fella.
“And Santa?” she asked with a glare, now getting angry.

I could let go of the Tooth Fairy and the Easter bunny easily, they hadn’t done a very good job in our house anyway, but Santa had worked his big red butt off over the years and I wasn’t quite ready to out him.
But, my daughter had the courage to ask me a direct question and I had to honor her with the truth, as hard as it was.

It was a tough realization, there were tears. Meanwhile her older brother breathed a sigh of relief; finally he could give up the charade. The pressure he had put on himself, chanting over and over “I must believe I must believe” in order to reap the rewards, was finally finished.

“So all the adults are in on this?” He asked.
“Yes” I confessed, feeling kind of mean.
“All the people on TV, in the shops? They all know?”
Yes, I admitted, it certainly is a well-planned conspiracy amongst the adults.

Eventually the children went off to school happy that morning feeling as though they’d gone through a rite of passage and come out all grown up. Actually I may have taken it harder than them. After all, it was the end of an era. But as I’ve slowly let go of the old man flying in the sky, making all our dreams come true (as long as we’re good), I too am relieved the game’s up. But most importantly,  I can at last get a little credit this year!

…Oh, and Tooth Fairy,
You’re fired.

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  1. Kat Russell says:

    Am I the only one who notices that God The Father looks like Santa in a really bad mood?

  2. OH thank you for sharing your “happy ending” to what I have been dreading for awhile. I have a ten and a six-year-old and they are big believers. Even though we have now qualified with the boys that Santa is probably some kind of angel/spirit, and not a fleshy man, I am still in the uncertain AM-I-LYING? zone. But then last year, a week before xmas, I was offered a small writing grant, of sorts, out of the blue. It was amazing. I considered it a gift from the universal Santa : ) So the magic is there at times, flying through the winter sky, it just doesn’t wear a red suit, right?
    By the way, the Tooth Fairy ending was perfecto!
    Thanks so much — love and joy to you, Julie

  3. Natalia says:

    Meg, I loved your story so much.  I had a similar experience and would love to send it to you privately.  The cutest part was “So all the adults are in on this?”  Loved it!  I always wondered if I would cop out or be honest…  But how can you lie to an honest little face?

  4. Meg says:

    Natalia- I would love to read your experience- we have so much to learn from one another. Thanks for commenting 🙂

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