It's been a crazy busy week. You've been away, I've been busy with work, and the upcoming holidays and doing what I can to finish up our one-becomes-two bathroom project, even though you took the drill with you.
Note to Husband: I need my own drill.
While you were away, we made messes and we cleaned up. We read stories and snuggled and we played outside in the rain. We stomped in mud puddles and we ate probably too much homemade macaroni and cheese. While you were away, we did our own variation of a bedtime routine and after our little girl was sound asleep, I opened a nice bottle of wine and shared it with a friend. And while you were away, I lied to our daughter.
It wasn't on purpose and the words seemed to fly past my lips before I could stop them. And all of the sudden, it was done. I lied. For the first time ever, I lied to her. And I'm certain it won't be the last.
It happened so naturally, that's the scary part. It was dusk. We were traveling down our quiet country road, and the big house on the hill was illuminated with a beautiful array of red and green and blue and white Christmas lights. She pointed out the window, and said "Mama, ooh! Mama outside!"
"It's Christmastime, kiddo! This time of year, people put lights on their houses so Santa can be sure to find them and deliver their presents on Christmas Eve."
I know that's not true. I know there's no Santa and there's no reindeer. I know that we put lights on our houses during this time of year because it's tradition and it's pretty and it's festive and I have no idea if it has anything to do with Santa. It probably doesn't. So why? Why did I lie? Why am I letting you know that I will continue to lie to our daughter throughout the course of her childhood?
I lied because childhood is about magic and wonder. And I want her to have that. I want her to get lost in the idea of Christmas, to unwrap presents and learn all of the songs and watch all of the movies and drink all of the hot cocoa. I lied because I want her to scan the skies for Rudolph and write letters to Santa, recounting how good of a girl she's been and I want to bake cookies and do crafts and I want all of it. I lied because I want her to anxiously fall asleep on Christmas Eve in her special Christmas pajamas, and wake us up way too early on Christmas Day, excited to see what Santa brought her. We will open presents and talk about what we're thankful for, and eat breakfast and sip coffee as we watch her just enjoy. I want her to have all of it. I want her be little and love the holidays and grow a little older and love the traditions of our family and grow a little older still, and stay in love with the magic of it all just like we are.
I will lie on Easter about the Easter Bunny. I will lie when her baby teeth wriggle loose and she carefully tucks her tooth under her pillow, waiting for the Tooth Fairy. I'll lie about all of it, because it's my job, and I take my job very seriously.
Actually, it's our job, together. We must keep her safe and healthy, sure. But we must also keep her wondering and thinking and believing fiercely. We must become children again, to believe alongside her. We will hold her tiny hand, as we survey the night sky together for Santa's sleigh. We will bake the cookies and eat the cookies and decorate the tree with her, because it's our job. Our job is to bring the magic, continue the traditions, and help her fall in love with her own childhood.