***WARNING*** This is a post about the big man in the red suit. This is NOT intended for the eyes or ears of young believers!!!
He knows. My baby knows. He isn't a baby anymore, I realize, but he is still MY baby and now he KNOWS. I had a feeling this was coming. I mean, he is in fourth grade and I know how kids talk. Bowser said he knew when he was nine years old. I distinctly remember driving in the Papa's truck, Blackie, when I was in 4th grade when he dropped the bomb on me. And now, my oldest is in on the secret, too.
Yesterday, Mario and I were on our way to his orthodontist appointment. He was going on and on about how he wants a Wii U for Christmas. (Sidenote: Really? When did gifts start having to be so expensive???) I tried to gently tell him that Santa wants everything to be pretty equal and that would be a very expensive gift for just one of my Goombas to get. I tried to tell him that there aren't very many Wii U's being released. I tried... I did...
Mario: But, Santa MAKES the Wii U, so of course he can bring me one.
Me: Well, there are some things that Santa can't make. Sometimes he has to buy things.
Mario: So, Santa can't afford a Wii U?
Me: Well, he has a LOT of kids to deliver presents to. What do you think?
Me: What are you thinking about?
Mario: Well, some of the kids at school say things about Santa.
Me: (feeling the anxiety welling in my chest, knowing what is about to happen next) And what do they say?
Mario: They say that Santa is really your parents and that they wait till you are asleep and they put out all the presents and eat the cookies and then go back to bed.
Me: And what do you think about that?
Mario: (momentary pause) I think that is the truth.
BAM! There it is. He knows. With a small ache in my heart I told him that, yes, indeed, Santa is actually your parents.
He was mad at first. "Why would parents lie like that to their kids???" Then he was sad. "Well, does this mean Santa won't come for me anymore?" Then he was semi-excited to be "in" on the secret. "So, I can help my brother and sister still believe?"
We drove around and talked for a few minutes. I told him that of course Santa would still bring him stuff and about how Santa is really the spirit of Christmas and giving. That there was once a man who became Saint Nicholas and eventually known as Santa Clause. I told him how important it was to keep the spirit and secret alive with his brother and sister, because that is part of the magic of Christmas. I think I said all the right stuff. Maybe? I've never really had to do this before. But, he seems ok with it, so I guess I am, too.
And now he knows. My baby is growing up.
PS--Uncle Corleone... The birthday blog is coming! I promise! I did not forget!