My children told me that just because you learn the tooth fairy isn’t a small fairy who flies through the night collecting teeth and leaving cash and gum doesn’t mean the Easter Bunny and Santa are not who they believe they are. I was saddened to learn how exactly they learned about each of these characters and how they differed from what they imagined.
My son told me that a Girl Scout parent told him Santa wasn’t real at all. He was young by my calculations but in reality may have been in 6th – 8th grade or 11-13 years old. He possibly could have been older even. He also elaborated on the fact that she also told him that just because he didn’t believe anymore that he couldn’t ruin it for her child who was younger. Why did this parent assume that my child didn’t believe in Santa? Why did my son wait 7 or more years to tell me this? Santa may or may not dress in a red and white suit and he may or may not be overweight and laugh like he a has a bowl full of jelly in his tummy, Santa, however, is a belief in something good. Santa gives us hope that there is magic and miracles do still happen. When all else is confusing and as a child you know you never have the best or must up to date stuff it is the belief in Santa that you will not be forgotten on this day. I tell my children every year that Santa will continue to visit them as long as they believe. Once they stop believing Santa will no longer be able to visit them.
The Easter Bunny by the standards of most children is a large fuzzy bunny who carries a basket full of colored eggs. This bunny drops of Easter Baskets full of goodies to little boys and girls much like Santa does at Christmas. Baskets at our house were full of new crayons and coloring books, new Church clothes with shoes and of course a chocolate bunny. This is no longer the image my children hold for their Easter Bunny. This image was crushed the day my oldest daughter found a receipt for everything they received for Easter about 6 to 8 years ago. My children were between the ages of 8 and 14.When I was confronted with accusations of being the Easter Bunny I had to stop and hold my breath before answering that deep question. My response was “Of course I am not the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny was short on time and asked me to help out and pick up their baskets.” I am not sure she believed my response and then I found out she had told her older brother what she had found as well. I again reminded all three of my children that the Easter Bunny will only come if you believe.
This past Christmas we had another discussion about what we believe and how that has changed over their lives. The most shocking moment for me was when I learned that just because you lose the belief in one of your childhood characters does not mean that you lose the belief for all of them at the same time. I ruined Santa for my youngest daughter because of my lack of knowing this. She was 13 or 14 at the time and in a passing conversation I gave it away. So the final question do they still believe at 16, 18 and 20? They do! They believe in all of the magic of the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa and we all look forward to sharing the magic with generations to come.