The other day I was in the shower singing loudly, trying to get amped for my day, as always, when in walks my 11 year old. She scared the crap out of me. She was lurking, like a stalker, just waiting for me with a bewildered look on her face. “What’s wrong?” I asked. Then, very seriously, she said “mom, I need to talk to you, and I need you to tell me the truth. Is the tooth fairy real?” I froze, dripping wet and relieved! Whew. I thought she was going to tell me she got her period. I paused. “Sure. Why do you ask?” I said. She explained how she’d been looking for a scarf in my drawer and found the note she’d written along with the tooth buried in the bottom of my drawer. My first thought was “what are you a spy now?” Yikes.. Do I have to hide everything more carefully now, vibrator included?
When I finally got back to the question at hand I thought long and hard. Not wanting to lie, but not wanting to kill the dream either, I asked her what she thought about it. She said she wasn’t sure, but wanted to know the truth. So I dried off put a robe on and sat her down and had the heart to heart. The kind of talk we, as parents, never really want to have. I was never really sure why we gave some mysterious fairy all the credit anyway. Shouldn’t we take credit for all the money we’ve given out over the years. It was hard, but I told her the truth and I asked her to keep it a secret from her 8 year old brother.
I want one of my kids to still believe in fairy tales and magic. The reality is that one day we all are going to have to have these talks with our children, or they will hear it on the playground. Sooner or later all the mythical, magical tales we tell our children will be revealed and they will be left with reality. The harsh truth that nothing in this world is free. Every treasure is earned and every seed planted. If we can keep their hearts open and minds fertile with joy and creativity, then we have done our jobs. Then, they too can grow up and have their own children to lie to. 🙂