Thursday, November 12, 2009

Role reversal

Ok, so Samuel caught me in a lie. And now I have to live with the knowledge that twenty years down the road, he's going to be in therapy over it. Because this kid doesn't forget a thing. And I feel awful.

A week ago, Samuel lost a tooth. This has been an event that he has waited for. He was beside himself. I was too. He lost it at school and the nurse gave him a little treasure box to put it in. He couldn't wait to put it under his pillow.

If you know me, you know that I struggle with the whole Santa thing. I hate lying to my kids. I get the whole magical, let them be kids thing. But I have never told them that Santa is real. Samuel wants so badly to believe. But he is just too darn logical and Santa doesn't add up. So he kind of pretends to believe. When the tooth fairy thing came about, I told him that she was the one that put money under his pillow.(wink, wink) He went along with my story but I truly thought he was pretending. Because although Samuel is six, at times he is a an adult caught in this little body and can be wise beyond his years.

He put his tooth under the pillow and that night when he was fast asleep, I put the money there and took the tooth. I threw it in a shelf in the closet and didn't give it another thought. I should have clued in when he came into my room yelling at 3:00 am that the tooth fairy had come, that he might be taking this one seriously. But I didn't.

Fast forward to tonight. The night that might send my kid to a psych unit. I had put both of the kids to bed. I heard some moving around upstairs but all was fairly quiet. Then I heard Samuel come downstairs.

"WHAT IS THIS?" As he shoved the little treasure box in my face.

Sure, I could have backpedaled and made up a story about the tooth fairy dropping it or some other clever tale. But instead I just looked at him dumbfounded.


I had to tell him the truth. So I put him in my lap and admitted my lie. And then I asked him,
"Are you mad?"

And my little adult said,
"No, not mad, more dissapointed in you than mad."
"Do you forgive me?"
"No, not yet."

He hung his head and went upstairs. I sat on the couch, dissapointed in myself and feeling guilty. I gave him a little time to stew but I had to go up there and make ammends. He was in his room pacing. When I walked in, he gave me such a look of disdain, it was like someone punched me in the gut.

I sat on the bed with him and apologized. I told him that parents aren't perfect and that I had made a big mistake.

He had tears in his eyes.
"I really wanted her to be real."

Oh, the journey of parenthood! George and I hashed it out a little while ago. I know that I haven't lost all credibilty with my kid but I sort of feel that way. Samuel is not your typical kid. When he loves you, he REALLY loves you. When he's hurt, he's REALLY hurt. He's not the kind of kid that will wake up, and skip off to school not giving this tooth fairy thing a second thought. He will dream about it and he'll wake up and I'll bet you twenty bucks that the first thing out of his mouth will have something to do with it. Then he'll go to school and tell every darn kid that his mother lied to him. THE TOOTH FAIRY IS NOT REAL!

Do you think he'll invite me to his therapy sessions. I'd like to give my side of the story...


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