So today, was ‘the talk’ with my dearest Larissa, age 7. Not the sex talk – the Santa talk. Never in my life have I experienced something quite like that. This morning we were running around, barely on time for school and Larissa asked me, “Mom, I wondered who hired Santa? Who was the first one?”
The moment struck me, and I sat down to begin the conversation. I had known it was coming but my mind was whirling as responding with sensitivity took on a whole new meaning. I wanted to be honest and truthful but could I do that without crushing her, without being totally honest? Could I lie? No… but it was a passing thought. I stopped beating around the bush and jumped in full throttle into what felt right. The conversation unfolded something like this…
“Well I believe in all kinds magic: the magic of Santa, of your dreams, of fairytales, of God, of Christmas, feeling good when you do the right thing. Santa is just a representation of all that magic. But not in the way that kids usually think about magic. The magic of fairytales coming true is real to me because I married your dad and we live the fairytale every single day. However, in a real-life, fairytales you have to clean toilets, you make mistakes, you are sometimes late for school (like today).
There are 2 groups of people in the world. Both believe in magic but in different ways. The younger group believes in the kid-friendly kind of magic because of the older group. Once you are mature enough and you have this once-in-a-lifetime conversation, YOU become the one responsible for carrying the magic of life, onto the first group, onto your sisters and someday your kids.”
“You mean I get to BE the magic?” she asked.
Larissa lit up, her face turned red, and I thought she was going to cry from disappointment. But after a moment, she looked at me about to bust with happiness. She hugged me and said, “Mom, you are my magic!” I cried of course and said that magic is a giant wheel of belief.
I was scared that Larissa was going to be totally devastated or angry but her reaction shocked and touched me. I have never seen her so full of joy and happiness in all my life. She did say that she was a little disappointed but she was so excited to be given the responsibility of passing the magic around. She was just busting with actual pure euphoria.
You know, when you become a mom, ALL the work you put in gets eventually rewarded. In toddlerhood, the reward comes when your child finally shares a toy that ONE time as a sign of compassion to another crying child. Oh, man that sense of pride is nothing compared to when they get older. The moment when you know you must be doing at least an alright job of mothering because they show such compassion and maturity. This was that moment for me as I have never known.
When I sat down that day I would have I honestly would have preferred the sex talk, at least that I had thought about and prepared for those conversations. I thought I was being a murderer of magic for her, but really I just made it grow.
This is a moment I will treasure forever.