While I’ve never been one to personally push the Santa myth or any of the similar myths like Tooth Fairies or Easter Bunnies, I’ve also never been one to shoot them down. In general, I’m not one to want to shoot down people talking about magic for most things, unless it’s, you know, actually dangerous for them to think that way, like, for instance, with magical horse de-wormer.
And so, as it is, my kids have grown up believing in all of those cool little magical creatures which inhabit the dreams of little ones. And although I might not push the myths, I have to admit I’m usually the one who puts the money under the pillow, writes the letters from Santa, and develops the escape plans for the leprechauns, so although I don’t directly promote the idea of these things existing, I’m still a little complicit in the whole duping of my children thing.
All the same, when it really comes down to it, my kids stopped asking me about the reality of it all, as I would just say I didn’t know anything. And after they stopped asking, there would inevitably come a time where they would tell me about their plans to disprove the myths. There’s an awful lot of conversation around myth-involving holidays about which of these mythical creatures are real. Just the other day I heard a debate about how leprechauns are real, but tooth fairies couldn’t possibly be.
Which brings me to the meat of my story. Over the past year, two out of the three of my kids suddenly decided to stop caring about the Tooth Fairy. Instead of happily putting their teeth under their pillows and awaiting the morning’s cash haul, they actually threw away their now-useless masticators. Ignoring the question we should all be having about why they would want to stop doing the thing that gets them more money, both of these kids got to a point where they were done playing the game, and just determined that the whole thing was some sort of scam that they were innocently playing into, even if they tended to be the ones coming out ahead of it all.
The magic died for them, and it died so hard that they didn’t even care about the reward that was there for kids who believed in it.
And now that we’re in the midst of the Christmas season, I fear we’re at a point again where these two kids who have had the veil of magic lifted to see their parents as devious little tricksters who want nothing more than for their kids to believe there’s special things that happen in this world will again determine that the magic isn’t worth it.
So far they’ve been playing along. They wake up in the mornings and seek out the new hiding spot for the elf. They talk about the fact that you can’t touch him or he’ll lose his magic. But I think they do it more for the youngest Oster, trying to keep the magic alive for him, knowing that the truth they’ve determined is not worth the loss in the myth.
Which is sweet, don’t get me wrong, but a part of me misses that part of their lives where anything could be true. Where they were willing to go to hunt out Nessie or the Bigfoot. Now, I’m not so sure they’d be willing to go on a cryptid hunt with me.
So, maybe the real issue here is that in their losing the magic, the magic goes away for me as well.
And that makes me more than a little sad.