*March 12th will mark the one year anniversary of my Mom's death. In an effort to avoid my usual "milestone approaching" behavior of hiding in bed and eating lots of carbs, I'm celebrating the 12 Days of Mom. As a part of my celebration, I will be writing one of my favorite memories about Mom here each day. These are random tidbits of all the awesome that was my Mom. I'll think you'll like reading more about her. If you're new to reading my blog, proceed with caution. You will find lots of casual writing fraught with grammatical errors. I serve as editor-in-chief around here, which would make any of my high school English teachers shudder.
A few nights ago, I was hanging out with Drew before bed. He has been doing some work around the house to earn an allowance. That night, he was admiring one of his dollar bills (he refuses any sort of coin payment) and decided he wanted to put it under his pillow. I laughed and said, "It will be just like the tooth fairy came!" Then we discussed the reasons why he still has not lost a single tooth, and he pointed out that it might be worth investing in some fake teeth as a money making scheme. Then he looked me right in the eyes and said, "Mom, is the tooth fairy real??"
This is one of those moments that, if you're a raging, psycho parenting freak like myself, you've prepared yourself for. Most normal people probably don't plan for stuff like this, but we've established I'm far outside the "normal" box. I think you'll see from my response that I totally nailed it...
"Do you think the tooth fairy is real?"
See? Nailed it.
I know where this is headed. This is headed for a discussion around a jolly old elf. I got kind of sad thinking we were headed there. If I'm honest, I'd tell you that I'm surprised Drew has believed in Santa this long. He's a gigantic skeptic. I was gloomy until I remembered how Mom handled it when I asked her if Santa was real.
I can't remember exactly how old I was when I asked her if Santa was real. I can remember feeling nervous to ask her, fearing somehow I was going to disappoint her. There was no real pressure to believe in Santa at my house growing up. I mean, we did, but when we asked, Mom told us the truth. But the way she did it took away the sting of the disappointment and helped me understand where the "warm" feeling came from at Christmas time.
When I asked her, she pulled me onto her lap (which does little to narrow down the time table-I sat on her lap well into my twenties!) and told me the story of St. Nicholas. You know, the real guy. I'm sure if she'd had access to Google, she would've shown me a picture. She shared with me his heart for Christ and his heart for children. Because I had watched Mom give to those in need so many times, I totally understood the story. She talked with me about why we gave and received gifts, why it was fun to have surprises, and why she let us believe in Santa. She wanted to be sure I knew she hadn't lied to me-that Santa was for fun, and she also wanted me to know that the fun wouldn't be over now that I knew the bigger story.
Christmas wasn't ruined at all for me when I stopped believing in Santa Claus. Mom made Christmas magical every year, and it was even more special when I understood the heart behind it. Not to mention the fun of being in on the "secret" before any of my siblings!
So. The day of revealing is drawing nigh for me. I can't wait to tell Drew about St. Nicholas. I hope that I am able to convey the warmth and excitement about giving that Mom did. Besides, I won't mind having my own little "elf" for helping on Christmas Eve, either!