Liar liar

22 Dec

I resent being forced to lie to my son about Santa. Isn’t my job as a parent to tell him the truth and explain the way the world works?

Carrying on the Santa myth goes against every parenting principle I hold dear but to tell him the truth is to place an incredible burden on him to keep a secret from his closest family and friends. That too goes against every parenting principle I hold dear. As he gets older the lies become more elaborate, the excuses more far-fetched. I am surprised he hasn’t realised it yet. I dread the day that he does. That will be the day when he realises I have been lying to him his entire life. And why? For fun? For a greater good? No, I have been lying to him because society encourages us to allow children to enjoy the fantasy of a strange and magical man who rewards good behaviour in children by showering them in gifts.

What about the year Santa didn’t bring him the new Nintendo Wii Ben 10 game that Philip had written and asked for? Santa had to write a letter explaining that it wasn’t available yet and that mum will get for him for his birthday, but hopefully this selection of alternate games will do. After reading the letter my son said, ‘Isn’t Santa magic? Can’t he just make one for me?’ So I concocted a lie explaining that while Santa and the elves make most of the presents they also purchase games and game players from the likes of Nintendo and are therefore at the mercy of release dates just like the rest of us.

This year I want to tell him the truth more than ever but I will hold out until the eldest child in my family…my nephew…is given the news. Then I will confess to my son but I will include a lengthy criticism of all parents for upholding the belief and beg for forgiveness with a promise to never lie to him again. And then I will tell him about the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, and apologise twice more.

La Dolce Vita – Jo Abi

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