"Mom, do you believe in Santa?" asks Mimi.
"Yeah. Why do you ask?" I say.
"Well, I'll get to that point in a minute," she says, sounding much more mature than she is. "Do you remember the present I gave Santa?"
"No. What was it?"
"It was a painted piece of wood. Remember, it said 'Merry Christmas' and 'Joy to the World' on it?" You might remember this from "Redneck & Green Season."
"No. What about it?"
"Well, the other day I asked Dad for some batteries and I looked in the place in your closet that the batteries are always kept and I found the present I gave Santa."
"So do you think Dad is Santa Claus?" Don't even go there after my letter to the Easter Bunny.
"Also, why do you have a letter that I wrote to Santa in your dresser?" she asks accusingly.
"What do your friends think, do they believe in Santa?" I say, slightly diverting her question. I don't think we ever had an official talk with the older two, I think it was just understood after awhile. The parent handbook never said you had to have this conversation - just the "birds and bees" one.
"Well, most of them believe in Santa - except Clara. And Santa's handwriting looks a lot like your handwriting," she says. I'm thinking, "Yes! Proof that mom is the only Santa." After thinking about that one, if Jared were to write the name tags out on the gifts, the kids would think Santa delivered the gifts to the wrong house. I typed all his papers for school, so I can say that. I can hear them saying, "Who's this present for? It says 'SCILHT'" Yep. Must belong to some kid from Scandinavia.
"So what do you believe?" I ask.
She says frustratingly, "I don't know what I believe anymore." So, I wasn't ready to have that talk anymore than I was ready to explain the tampon commercials. I think we had a subject change, which wouldn't surprise me because that's how Mimi's brain works.
Do you remember when you "knew" about Santa? I think in 5th grade I was still wondering. Then a friend said, "You don't still believe in Santa, do you? HA! It's your parents, Doofus!" My response, "Of course I knew that, duh." Then swallowed hard and tried to hold the tears back. I'm not a confrontational kind of person so I never approached my parents about this subject, or the birds and the bees. Gosh, so much info in 5th grade - and you get periods, too?! Which ironically we referred to as Santa being here.
We were always told if we quit believing in Santa, he'll quit coming. So even if we knew it was our parents we didn't admit it. It always baffled me how he would get into our house when we didn't have a chimney. That really bothered me. The answer was Santa has a magic key and that's how he gets in all houses. Still disturbing that someone has access to your house like that. I might have to get Seth or Ali to give her the talk, I don't think it would be as traumatic. Then they can add, "Don't tell them you know" and it will be a silent understanding.