My 12 year old son found out last month that his parents are the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. He was looking for something in a drawer and discovered his old pictures and cards to these magical characters. At first he was horrified. Partly because he had been ‘lied’ to, and partly because he hadn’t figured it out sooner and felt embarrassed. After a few minutes of crying and asking, “so it really has been you all along?” he was ready to chat. And he was thrilled.
“Remember that time I got that art set from the tooth fairy?”
“Yes,” I responded.
“Well, I never liked it. But I felt bad being mad at the Tooth Fairy so I didn’t say anything. But I can be mad at YOU!”
I laughed and told him that it was all we had available that night, as he had pulled the tooth shortly before bedtime. “It was that or a loonie,” I said.
“That would have been better,” he says. So here he was, on the verge of puberty, laughing that he now had permission to be mad at the Tooth Fairy. He was also very happy to get back the toys and drawings that he had given the tooth fairy over the years. “I always regretted giving her that action figure, but somehow it made it more special that it was one that I missed.”
I love that my kids believed in the characters for so many years. They are so inventive, creative, and fun to be around. Now we make up stories about our stuffed animals and how they would react in the different situations in which we find ourselves. Our motto seems to have become, ‘no matter how bad things get, there is always a story to tell’. As my closest friend deals with unimaginable crises with her own child, I am thankful for every moment of magic we have had. None of us know what the future holds, but everything seems to be just a little better with a hint of imagination and illusion.
As we prepare for Easter, our son is still a believer in the magic of the holiday characters. Like me, he believes in the magic, even though he now knows the actual characters are imaginary. This year he looks forward to being the Easter Bunny to his cousin, which makes him feel important and mature in a new way. He appreciates the time he had while he believed and he still seems to leave a trail of pixie dust everywhere he goes.
In response to today’s Daily Prompt