By Barbara Zweifel
While my daughter, a single mom, was finishing college and working as well, we were blessed to help raise our young granddaughter. During this time, we helped build many wonderful memories. In my desire to preserve some of these memories for our granddaughter, I began writing letters to her until she was old enough to continue these journals on her own. Here is one of these special letters.
You learned the truth about Santa today. How I’ve been trying to delay this loss of innocence. This passage through the final door of infancy is not something I was eager to push you through. It’s funny how your mother discovered this truth at five, three years younger than you are now. I was so eager to have her grow up; to discover each new stage of her life. How exciting to see her grow and change. I could hardly wait to see what happens next. Now I know how quickly these precious days become memories and I’m not so eager to let go of this chapter in your life.
You’ve asked a few times before if Santa was real. I cleverly avoided the answer by saying, “Well, a lot of people believe he is”. That seemed to satisfy you at age 7. Maybe you just weren’t ready to give it up yourself. But today, one year later, you asked point blank, “Do YOU believe Santa is real?” I carefully attempted to avoid your true question and said, “I did when I was your age”. Your attention instantly focused on me, seemingly knowing something important was about to be revealed. You then rephrased your question more directly and demanded loudly, “Do you believe in Santa now?” “Tell me the truth. Is Santa REAL?” I let out a slow sigh. No way to avoid it any longer. My little granddaughter will no longer be so little ever again. With reluctance in my voice I answered barely above a whisper, “No”. Your eyes lit up with an understanding and I waited for the look of disappointment to creep over your face. But you surprised us all by laughing (not just a giggle but real tummy clutching laughter) and, finally when the laughing eased up a bit, you looked at me than Grandpa and said, “So you and Grandpa bought me all those presents?” “Yes”, I answered slowly. “WOW”, you answered, “You guys sure are nice. THANKS!” In then in almost the same breath you added, “Hey, where did you hide all those presents?”
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