Here's the thing...we all know its bad to lie. But as a parent, you do your share whether you like it or not. You can make yourself feel better by saying you're not *lying* so much as bending the truth, or leaving out important bits of information. Whatever helps you sleep at night.
"Mom, what's for dinner?"
"Pasta with sauce...yummy yummy!" I left out the fact that I pureed a whole bunch of carrots into the pasta sauce...he'll never know. And what he doesn't know won't hurt him. In fact, it will make him stronger, healthier, happier.
I've been doing a lot of thinking about the lies we tell our kids now that Christmas is upon us. The lying seems to have been amped up a bit. Every time the UPS guy brings a package to the door and Aidan asks "What is it? Can we open it?" I say "Oh, no...I think it must be something for Daddy's school." Then bring said box to the basement where the kids don't go and won't ever know for sure what was in that box. The items will magically appear under the Christmas tree on December 25th and my children's eyes will be filled with wonder and awe. So, the lie is a means to an end. A magical end filled with smiles and giggles where happiness abounds. I like that end.
Every night, Waka Buckle, the Elf on the Shelf, finds himself a new place to sit and every morning Aidan bursts out of his bedroom "Is my elf here?!? Where is he?!?" Once he finds him, and has a giggle about where Waka Buckle is camped out, he asks me how he got there. "I don't know, buddy!" I do know...I put him there. Lies. Do I feel bad? A little bit. But, its all in the name of Christmas magic.
Santa is real in this house. I have a number of friends who have told their small children that Santa is a myth because they don't want to lie to their kids. That is their choice, and I respect them as parents and love their kids. But, that's just not how I roll. Some of my best memories from childhood revolve around Christmas, Santa, the flying reindeer, and all the rest of the magic that surrounds the holiday. I remember driving home from my grandparents' house on Christmas Eve and we kids would have our eyes peeled looking to the sky the whole drive home. "OH MY GOSH!!! I saw a red light in the sky! It MUST be Rudolph...HURRY DAD!!! Drive faster!!! We need to get to bed so Santa doesn't skip our house!"
The anticipation of Christmas morning would then likely keep us up well past our bedtime, our little minds unable to stop thinking about what was to come. That excitement was awesome.
Childhood should be about magic. It should be about believing in things that defy logic because you haven't been hardened by the real world yet - there's no coming back once you have.
“There are two ways to believe in Santa Claus,” according to Rick Epstein, author of the book Rookie Dad Adventures in Fatherhood. “One way is to believe in him, the other is to help little children believe in him.”
I'm going to work my tail off to help my children believe for as long as possible.
*P.S. If you tell your kids there is no such thing as Santa, and they then tell MY kids there is no such thing as Santa, we might not be friends anymore. Just sayin'.