Today a friend of Ari's came to play. After his dad had come to pick him up, there was a knock at the door. Mina and I were making pancakes and she looks up at me and says, "Holy mackerel." I honestly have no clue where she learned this phrase.
I sat down today and added some of the blogs I frequent. Most of these ladies are local friends and acquaintances whom you should not judge based on the fact that they know me as they may find me strange too :)
Today Ari, Mina, and I walked to the park. Along the way Ari was really just treating me like I was an idiot. Finally, I had more than enough and said, "You know, you may be wise for your age and you may have more wisdom than I will ever have. However, I do know a thing or two and I do not appreciate being treated like I am stupid." She said, "Oh, I am sorry mom." And then stopped.
Okay, so the talk was just not quite finished. Ari woke up on Wednesday and had more questions. She started the day with a whopper. "Mom, Santa is real right." I told her that her dad and I were Santa too. I explained that there may have been someone named St. Nicholas at some point in history and that the "spirit" of Santa was real. I also explained to her that the fact that Santa was her dad and I was one of the reasons we never used the whole "you have to be good" sort of thing when talking about Santa. I grew up in a rather poor family and I really never wanted our girls to associate not getting a lot with being bad. YUCK!!
So as the day progressed she also asked about the Easter Bunny and she seems really okay with all of it.
As we pulled out of the driveway this evening to go to the store she said, "Mom, did you know some kids never get any Christmas presents." I told her that was true. That sometimes it could happen if a family did not have money to buy Christmas or if a person did not celebrate Christmas. I explained that one of her friends goes to a Jewish school and that Jewish people celebrate other holidays.
No trauma, no anger, just conversation. We are not sure what we are going to do from here on out although we will not be repeating the same thing with her sister more than likely. When I first told John about being outed he suggested we tell Ari about the real reason for the celebrations, the history, and the symbolism and go from there. So I think I will approach Easter from that standpoint.
The funny thing is that before I had children I was absolutely certain that I would never do the Santa thing. I actually did not want to lie to my kids nor did I want to bring that whole idea of "he see's you when you are sleeping" it just felt creepy to me. Live and learn I guess.
The "leprechauns are role play and not real" talk referred to in my previous post went badly. So badly that I have not broken the news that there are various other mythical gift givers. We are so not being nominated for parents of the year.
Every year before St. Patrick's Day, we make a magic treasure box. The story goes that if you put the magic treasure box under the moonlight the leprechauns will find it, fill it with treats, and hide it for you to find. We never got around to making our boxes this year. We had gotten really busy and put it off and then wham- the day was here. John and I had already gathered together the various treats so we hid them anyway.
Upon finding the St Patty's loot Ari got really mad. She turned to me and said, "The leprechauns did not come, you and dad bought these things and hid them." We have made a promise never to lie to our kids, so I told her she was right. She stomped off very obviously angry about the situation.
Later, I got a chance to talk to her about it while driving in the car. I told her that her dad and I only did the leprechaun thing to help her have a magical child. We wanted her to have fun and we never intended to be liars. She told me that under no circumstances does she ever want to be lied to. She said that any lie we told her made her distrust us and she wanted to trust us.
I told her how proud I was of her standing up for her principles. I told her I hoped to someday be so strong and have such conviction. Then on the inside I suddenly realized that this conversation is not over.
I talked it over with John and I am going to give her the full scoop this evening. Wish me luck...
For about the past six months Ari will ask Mina to come with her if she is going somewhere in the house that is dark or that she considers scary. John and I have jokingly called Mina her "meat shield". Meat shield is a gaming term. A meat shield in the gaming world is the player who goes in to a fight and holds the opponent in place so everyone else can take less damage. The meat shield protects everyone else basically. Last night, Ari wanted to go upstairs but it was dark and she turned to Mina and said, "Come on meat shield."