Once upon a time there was a pig named Humphrey. I ate him. The end.
I’m about as likely to tell my son this story as I am to tell him about Santa. You might think me a cruel mother. I’m not. I’m just one that thinks a lot about these types of things…the lessons I’m going to teach my son.
We teach our kids not to take candy from strangers. Then we take them trick-or-treating in which they knock on strangers doors and…take candy.
We teach our kids to dial 911 in case of an emergency but encourage them to sleep tight on Christmas Eve while a pudgy man slides down the chimney to walk about their house.
We teach our kids to not be gluttonous, to eat healthy, to never waste since their are starving children…everywhere and yet we cook abundantly for Thanksgiving only to throw away enough food to feed a nation.
We give our kids money for their teeth but what about all of the meth-addicts who lose their teeth? They are just misguided children trying to get some dough.
We stuff our kids with chocolate and make them search for eggs scattered about by a massive bunny for Easter. RABBITS DONT LAY EGGS! Where the hell is the Easter bunny getting these things from?
I’m the first to encourage a vivid imagination. It flows through the very core of my being to be imaginative. However, I don’t ever recall a time in which I believed in Santa. Santa was a story. A fun story. A story many people believed in. But one I always knew was just that: a story. Maybe its because I grew up on Gun Hill and Hull in the Bronx. There was no way you were ever going to convince me that a chubby white man climbed into peoples houses to deliver gifts and lived past apartment number 2. Not on my block.
To be honest, I don’t think I missed out. I don’t regret knowing that my dad busted his ass to get us all that he could. I don’t regret knowing that my father went without to make sure we had something to open at midnight. Why give credit to someone who didn’t exist when my father was my Santa? And my Santa delivered gifts year round. He loved me. He wasn’t a stranger. He was a jolly, pot-bellied man with a white beard and white hair. That is not a story. That is truth. A truth I have enjoyed thus far and a truth I will continue to enjoy.
In keeping with tradition, I will tell my son that story while simultaneously being my sons Santa. He can choose to believe in the realm of pure fantasy until his heart says otherwise or he can choose to enjoy the story and appreciate the reality.