06 September 2007

Death By Pixie Dust

If you were standing here, looking upon this scene, your head leaning against the door frame to the left, you could probably see it.

The moment, right there, where childhood, so sweet and innocent, slipped away and left me standing, eyes wide open, mind reeling, "No."

With a single sound, the sound of two silver coins being collected into Big A's hands, there, in front of my eyes, childhood moved along to what lies beyond it, without so much as a warning or goodbye to me.

It slipped away, at 3:47 a.m., drifting into the breeze of tomorrow, pixie dust and my tears falling like shooting stars in its wake.

When Big A sheepishly came down the stairs, I asked her if she wanted to talk about it.

"So you were awake the entire time?" I asked her.

"Yes."

"Why didn't you say something?"

"I don't know. Because I was wondering. I kind of thought that it wasn't real, but I just wanted to make sure."

And her last letter from the Tooth Fairy, left lying on the floor, a scrap, a remnant, a reminder of what won't be again.

It didn't end there, though, what slipped beyond in that doorway.

"So, I need to ask you something else."

"What?"

"Santa Claus. Is he real?"

Jesus.

"Well, you know, there are a lot of people that dress like Santa, because obviously, Santa can't be everywhere..."

"Mom. Do you believe that one man gets in a sled on Christmas Eve and goes to every house in the world? And I want you to tell me the truth. Not some white lie."

"I believe in the spirit of Santa."

"Do. You. Believe. Santa. Is. A. Man. That. Is. Alive?"

"I believe that, yes, there might be a Santa. He might not go to every single house, but who's to say that there isn't something magic out there that shows up to the people that need it most?"

She looked at me, head tilted, drinking me in, I suppose, my tears and faults and wondering how she gets stuck with a mom that cries over someone that isn't even real.

"OK. I guess I believe in that, too. But I don't believe in him like I used to."

"And mom, one more thing. Christmas Eve. Are you the one that buys the presents from Santa?"

And there, in front of me: Snow falling, church bells ringing, "Silent Night" sung sweetly in the accent of my Grandfather's tongue, children racing into my grandparents house, siblings and cousins sliding on the snow in our best shoes, into the house where Santa would soon arrive, calling us each by name, giving us each a gift. Photo albums becoming full with the passing of time, each Christmas Eve and each child, on Santa's lap.

And there, in front of me: Me, buying my first gift from Santa for my own child, my own baby sitting on Santa's lap, "Silent Night" bringing me to tears, snow falling, children racing into my grandparents house, Santa calling them by name, this new generation, these wide-eyed creatures who still believed, who couldn't sleep from the excitement, who couldn't wait to sit on Santa's lap.

And there, in front of me: What I already know, what I've tried not to know, what I'll be thinking of this Christmas Eve, her first when she is certain that some things don't exist: Time, standing in front of me, always, always in front of me, leaving me behind, handful of pixie dust and heart full of unicorns and a Santa that is real.

43 comments:

slouching mom said...

Oh, no. I'm surprised Ben isn't right there with her. Any day now...

Sigh. The heartbreak.

Amy York said...

Awww... that was bittersweet for me. She's growing up and forming her own opinions which is fantastic... but losing her childhood innocence at the same time.
Great post!

Becc said...

sigh))))) Oh my heart aches. I have an ache in the pit of my stomach.

I don't want the beliefs to end either...

clc said...

Gosh, I think she is more grown up sometimes than more grown ups I know. I love hearing about her and I agree with amy_york about it being bittersweet....

clc said...

Oh. and PS. I forgot to mention that, that part of Christmas Eve was my favorite, and I'm sure she will still find magic in it all. As long as she doesn't give the beard a tug this next year just to test the waters :)

Her Grace said...

That right there is why I'm seriously considering not letting the Tooth Fairy in our house.

Does that make me a scrooge?

I'm sorry. This moving on that our kids keeps doing is truly a heartbreak, but it's what they are supposed to do. We just have to learn how to accept it.

flutter said...

((you))

Ouch, but yay too, because what a beautiful young woman she is becoming

InTheFastLane said...

It is a sad day, but it has to happen sooner or later. I bet she already knew, but didn't want to. It is hard to leave somethings behind and we grow.

Christine said...

rip out my heart, you

she is so smart and savvy, but the ache you must feel.

your baby is growing and learning, not in spite of you but because of you. i once heard this somewhere and it always comes to me at times like these. . .

T with Honey said...

I hope this is a long way off for Princess... and Little A too.

BetteJo said...

Oh I'm so cruel. I just told my kids that if they didn't believe in Santa (the Easter bunny, etc) that they wouldn't get the presents from Santa. That protected me from losing my innocence cause they couldn't deny any of it after that!

Blog Antagonist said...

Ouch. I remember when mine stopped believing. The magic of childhood is so fleeting, I wish they weren't all in such a hurry to leave it behind.

Lawyer Mama said...

Oh no...... Sigh. (((HUGS)))

Oh, The Joys said...

I hated learning this.

bubandpie said...

That's how it was for me too - the tooth fairy was the thin edge of the wedge, and Santa and the Easter Bunny were not far behind. Summer is a good time to face up to it though - I don't think anybody could bear to look that particular news in the face in December.

zellmer said...

You write so beautifully about such sad things.

painted maypole said...

Beautiful post. Heartbreaking. And part of why we never led our daughter on about Santa. So as not to have to break her with disbelief.

Mamma said...

That was so beautiful.

jen said...

oh honey. we've all just cracked a bit reading this. the passage and the loss. you good mom, you.

bgirl said...

i remember my 'test' for the tooth-fairly and my discovery that it was my parents. i didn't tell them i knew at leat not then.

i admire big 'A's discovery and action following it.

i admire you. great post.

Anonymous said...

YOU can still have your heart full of unicorns, santa claus and fairy dust! Have you seen the movie 'Polar Express?'

I BELIEVE!!!! Because reality is too real, and now I get to share the 'make believe' with grandchildren, and still feel the wonder....

Colleen said...

why is it they have to grow up??? It's just no fun... and so sad.

deb said...

I always had such a hard time with Santa when my kids were little because I didn't want to lie to them, I was forever skirting around it and was relieved when they quit believing. I felt like such a liar.

As for them growing up, it's bittersweet. It's so amazing watching them grow into people but it's so hard watching them walk away from us. But they have to walk away.

Lauren said...

That stinks!

By the way, I still believe in Santa!

Tuesday Girl said...

It seems it happens to early these days.
I hope I have a while before I have to answer those questions.

MP said...

Oh no..I just can't stop crying...I hate doing this at work. I'm going to have to learn to keep your blog to home reading. Geeze Louise...The tooth fairy and Santa..did she mention the Easter Bunny?
I bet this is my step son's last year. He's already questioning evolution and God..he's bound to question Santa.

KC said...

Oh, man. Poor tooth fairy, poor mama. They grow up too fast.

Aimee said...

Oh these kids! These heartbreakingly wonderful kids ...

PDX Mama said...

Dang you. That was very touching. I so don't want to go through this. Sounds like you and I have a very similar emotional connection with Christmas. Did you ever watch Polar Express? I think in many ways it captures the magic of it, even Big A should still be able to grasp that.

luckyzmom said...

Tough time. Our daughter is seven years older than our son. When our son was starting to doubt he asked his sister and she told him their was no such thing, but if you let Mom and Dad know you won't get as much good stuff!

Omaha Mama said...

Aw. That's rough. I think of when that day will come too. It almost makes me feel like a liar, with the whole tooth fairy/santa claus/Easter bunny thing. But we do it. And I know that some day I'll go through the same thing. And I will surely cry. That's what mamas do.

Ally said...

Oh no. I'm not ready for the era of Non-Belief!

canape said...

Oh, that makes me so sad.

urban-urchin said...

oh,oh, oh. my heart just shattered into a bazillion little shards. This is my not too distant future *sob*.

beautiful post.

Christy said...

I vividly remember the day I found out. It was the day back after Christmas break and I was 7. It still makes me sad, and I am completely dreading the day Lilly will find out the truth.

Jennifer said...

Oh, no. This is heartbreaking. More so becaues I know my oldest and I will be having this conversation soon, as well. And I do believe in the magic. I do, I do. But if he asks me directly...

*sigh*

Janet said...

Oh no! No, no, no!

That sucks.

(I still love the note you wrote.)

April Brandon said...

I'm not looking forward to that day. AT ALL!!! I know that it's coming soon. I can feel it. I'm actually more worried that his step brothers will ruin it for him.

Whymommy said...

Oh, heavens! What a moment. She sure is growing up. And I suppose you must be too. How sad, and yet how full of hope for even more fun days ahead.

Jen M. said...

Oh. You got hit so hard, with the Santa question, too...I'm sorry.

Orangeblossoms said...

I think my almost-six-year old is on the brink..... and it is sad. So sad. Thanks for this beautiful post...

carrie said...

My heart is breaking over this post.

And, I still will believe.

crazymumma said...

oh. Now I am a bit of a mess.

she is a wise one isn't she?