As I tucked my 9 yr old into bed last night, she pelted me with Santa questions. Since it's May, I'm totally unprepared.
It was like she had a pistol on each hip, firing away:
Boom! "Is there a Santa?"
Bang! "Be honest. Do you and Dad eat those cookies after we go to bed?"
Crack! "Is the guy at the mall just someone's dad?"
I did what I always do when I have no answer, I deflect questions with more questions.
Boom! "Do you think there is a Santa?"
Bang! "Do you really think Dad and I would eat Santa's cookies?"
Crack! "Don't you think people would beat up someone's dad for impersonating santa?"
Truth be told, I feel like I'm insulting her intelligence. Yes honey, an overweight man rides around the world with flying reindeer and squeezes his fat ass into everyone's fireplaces. Yes, a stranger enters our home while we're sleeping, but don't be afraid. He leaves gifts instead of pulling out a 9mm and robbing our home of all its goodies.
If anything, it's teaching her that strangers are welcome in our home as long as he's in a red suit and claims to fly. "Ding Dong. Hi, I'm Santa. I see you have a fire going, so I need to come through the front door. So...where does mommy keep all those credit cards?"
And I'd like to come clean not only for safety reasons, but for social reasons as well.
I was fucking 12 when I learned there was no Santa. For crissakes, my friends were going to second base with boys and I was leaving notes for a mythical obese man in a flying sleigh.
I think I had cigarettes on one of my lists. How could my parents not have known I was too old to believe in that shit?
So I think I'll tell her. I can't stand the thought of having her put wine coolers and condoms on her Santa list when she's sixteen. It would be too traumatic for everyone involved.