A grown man reflects on a devestating lie that many childern are taught.
|As an adult I can recall my parents breaking my heart when they told me that there was no Santa and no Easter bunny. It still makes me wonder how they could tell me a lie and know that the day would come. I am aware that it was done for my own excitement, but now I wish they would have stuck to the original plot of the birth and resurrection of Christ. Regardless if I believed it, I would have preferred to know the intended point of the two holidays. It makes me wonder how it went with all the other children who came to that fateful day. If I ever get married, I would lay it out straight for my children. It irks me how so many kids are lied to only to have their dreams crushed at the appointed age. People just don’t think of how fragile a child’s hear is. Loving your child is being truthful with them. When I ponder my old belief, it makes me feel stupid and deprived.
In the course of my life I have wanted to gather petitions to be straight forward with children. I am a person of faith so naturally I would push for introducing the true reason for the seasons.
I remember the day my mom and dad sat me down on the living room couch to break the news to me. For some purpose they wanted to tell me earlier than most children.
“Nathen,” my mom said. “We want to talk to you about something.”
“What mom?” I answered innocently. I could see the reluctant, guilty face on my parents as they prepared to slam me with the news.
My dad spoke up as he ran his palm down his face and took a deep breath. My mom and dad looked at each other then at me. “It’s about the Easter bunny and Santa.”
“Really! What is it!”
My exuberance and curiosity drove a knife right in their stomachs. My happiness would only let me down even more.
“Calm down son, it is something you will not like.” I could see my own reaction reflect in his my dad’s face. It was that of confusion and bewilderment.
My mom leaned closer and cupped my hands in her’s and looked at me with trembling eyes as she bit her bottom lip.
In truth I did not know what she would say. She was silent for a good several moments. It appeared she was going to tell me a story so I smiled in anticipation. Another knife was driven into their resolve but this time straight in the heart.
“You know how when you’re in one of your school plays and how it is all fake but every one still believes it is real?” My mom was obviously trying to find the less shocking route to the truth. “Well, Santa and the Easter bunny are kind of like that. “You see…” she hesitated trying to decide where to go from there. “…Its’ more like a dream. You believe it is real until you wake up.” My mom looked to my dad for help. Then my dad took it upon himself to take a more direct approach. He put his hand on my shoulders and squeezed it firmly. “Son, there comes a time when a boy must grow up and leave behind childish things.” I could see the forced austereness in his expression as he prepared to divulge the truth. “Nathen, Santa and the Easter bunny are not real.”
I felt like my dad had splashed alcohol in my face. It was as though a piece of my heart had just fluttered away into darkness and would never come back. My bottom lip curled and my eyes glazed over with shock and despair. My eyes began to water but then my sadness turned to anger. I hated them both for telling me such a lie. Then I looked into their eyes and It was one of those honest, loving looks. I knew they were truthful. That realization made me mad at them for making me believe it.
“Why did you lie to me!” I yelled. “I thought you loved me!”
“It was just for fun. We do love you.”
Then I broke out into a full-fledged crying rage. “I hate you!” I jumped off the couch and upstairs to my room and fell on my bed. It was a new and baffling experience to feel two afflicting emotions at once; anger and sadness. My parents did not go after me and after an hour I was calming down though I still felt a grudge and disbelief.
It took me a few months to come to terms with the state of things. I truly was growing up. Eventually I forgave my parents. After my experience, even at that age, I swore I would not make anyone believe in Santa and the Easter bunny.
When I went to school I felt it was my job to tell all my classmates about the big lie. Most of the other kids thought I was just trying to be mean. I even told the school bully who got so worked up that he hit me.
Now at the present, I am and advocate to issue the truth to children and instill the true meaning of Easter and Christmas. Some parents tell me that young kids need something to believe in and my response is to let them believe in the one that both holidays are made for.