As my boys get older, they are starting to ask questions that I am finding to be a challenge to answer. Whereas once I worried if I'd be able to answer questions like "What makes a cloud?" or "What's the square root of..." (math has never been my strongest skill), now I'm dealing with questions that I feel are a million times tougher.
The latest, toughest question actually had to do with Santa Clause. Although I'm not super traditional, I do love the tradition of children believing in Santa for as long as possible. Santa is as magic as childhood should be. (Every childhood) My boys definitely believe in Santa as evidenced by them talking with him on almost a daily basis. Whenever they see something that they would like, I hear, "Santa, can I have that black corvette/spiderman toy/lego something-or-other for Christmas, please?" (At least they say please)
The question came after seeing a tv commercial showing poor families in Africa and more specifically children. My boys were acting particularly selfish this one day (as 'lil kids often do) and I was overly frustrated with all their "I wants", so when that commercial came on, I paused on it. Of course I am conflicted about this because I don't think my boys should ever feel guilty about what they have, but I also want to instil a sense of gratitude and compassion for those less fortunate then we are. I want them to feel lucky and, more importantly, thankful. Of course they were fascinated with the images of the children on the screen and because of my frustration of the day, I eagerly explained that these children didn't have any toys and how lucky my boys are to have what they have.
It wasn't until hours later as we were driving in the car that my eldest son asked me about the children he saw on tv.
"Doesn't Santa bring them toys?"
Ugh! I never thought of that. That's a toughie! How do I explain this without giving the magic of Santa away? Santa is supposed to bring toys to all the boys and girls of the world.
I can't even remember what I mumbled about this. As I recall, Hubby was pretty much silent as well. I still don't know quite what to say to a 3 and 6 year old with regards to why Santa missed these children. Did his sleigh break down? (Lame) Did he lose his way? (No, Rudolf would have found them) Did he forget them? (No way he'd forget them)
Once again, this parenting gig has thrown me for a loop. I have no problems explaining how babies are made and where they come from. I tell it like it is. But Santa? I am so conflicted with keeping the magic alive and telling the truth.
|I'm linking up with Shell at Things I Can't Say.|