You know the rest of the quote. There is a Santa Claus.
Yes, we celebrate with Santa here in Drosche Land. The birth of our Savior and the true meaning of the season is always present and foremost; but we do include Santa. And the ever controversial Elf on the Shelf. But more on the elf later.
When you have kids, Santa is suddenly brought back into your life. Like an old friend. One you've lost touch with over the years but who suddenly returns. Bringing with them many fond memories and traditions. You spend the next few years of your parenting life keeping the magic of Santa alive and well for your children. Reading about him. Telling about him. Visiting him. Writing letters. Yes, probably using him to bribe your kids to stay quiet for just one single minute. (Hey, no shame, we've all done it). Then one day the magic is gone, and with it the old friend has left again. That day came for Braeden last year. I'm not quite sure how or when or what prompted it, but he confronted us. Asked us the truth. Amy and I, shocked as most parents are at first I'm sure, feigned ignorance. Yeah, that didn't last long. The kid is too smart for that. So we told him the truth. We also told him about the magic that is the belief. The magic that inspires the love and giving of the season that we already focus in with Jesus' birth. Christmas. The whole package. The whole shebang. And yes, that includes the slight little white lie of the jolly old man in the red suit. It also includes giving not receiving, family, friends, peace, and joy.
He listened. He digested. He understood. Remarkably no tears were shed. Instead, Amy and I presented him with the task of "helping" us to keep the magic alive for Jackson and Stella. He was now in on the worldwide yearly secret. He enjoyed this and went with it. But I'll be honest, a little part of me (ok, a big part of me) was sad. He lost some of the innocence of youth with the realization. By the next day he'd put two and two together and figured out the shams that were the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Again, I cried, inside and outside. Our little guy was growing up. The boy who'd brought Santa back into Drosche Land was now slowly leading him out.
Christmas 2013 came and was great. Then it was over and everything was back to reality. The secret was kept and our alliance upheld over the next year as it was filled with lost teeth and Easter. Then December 2014 rolls around. The tree goes up and the decorations come out. Silently the three of us meet, exchanging sideways glances. The facade is put back up and we remind him of his duty to his little brother and sister. All is well with Christmas. Letters to Santa are written. Engelbert our elf returns and is up to his silly little hijinks again. Jackson and Stella are blissfully unaware of the fib that the majority of the house is now telling.
Luckily Jackson shows no signs of following in his brother's footsteps this year and I am pleased with that. Not only will be magic continue here in Drosche Land, but the stress of adding another member into our secret alliance has passed. Frankly, Jackson cannot keep a secret to save himself and I am determined that Stella hold on to the belief for as long as possible. She's the baby. The last chance to keep Santa coming around here every year. I figure I've got a good 5 years left right?
Sadly though, I know the time will come. We will all know the truth. But I hope by then the magic can still stay for fun. For entertainment. For nostalgia. "Santa" will come each December 25th and we will all smiles knowingly. Until, of course, one of these 3 decide to have a child of their own and we can once again welcome the old man back into our lives. But for now, we'd better watch out, we'd better not cry, we'd better not pout. He's on his way.
All is well, believing, in Drosche Land.