Friday, November 28, 2014

To Believe or Not to Believe

Surely all my mother wanted was a nice Christmas picture of me.  I remember this evening like yesterday, exactly what I was thinking of this imposter to an imaginary character.  There were two strands of beads, one white, one purple, which went with this outfit--I couldn't get around wearing this uncomfortable dress, but I did refuse to wear the beads.  I am six years old here.
When my kids were growing up, we didn't go along with Santa Claus, or the tooth fairy and Easter bunny for that matter.  It wasn't a rigid legalistic belief which precipitated this parenting decision.  It was a conversation with my beloved Grannie.  

When a sibling told her there was no Santa Claus, she was hurt deeply, not so much at the revelation, but that her parents had "lied" to her, the word she used.  I perceived through her storytelling, Grannie always told true stories, the hurt she felt so many decades ago.  Grannie never suggested that I not participate in this type childhood wonder with my children and she occasionally made reference to "Sanny Claus."  It was her truth, though, plus the fact that I had always been a Santa skeptic.  

From my earliest memories, and I have memories of wearing high top shoes with bells on them, I had put it together that my daddy took us kids to visit our other grandmother at the same time Santa allegedly dropped by with his stash.  As a tot, I grilled my mother about how he got in the house because we had no fireplace, no chimney for him to shimmy down.  I was aware, even as a very young child, of the inequity of gifts different children received, some receiving none.  

As an adult, I valued truth, and with the memory of my Grannie's disappointment deeply embedded in my heart, I did not want to do anything to shake my children's faith in their parents.  I told them other children believed and it was not our place to dispute their belief.  I'm not hinting or advising that anyone do the same, just sharing a memory.  

It was, and sometimes still is, surprising to hear the strong opinions of those who disagreed with this facet of our parenting, but it's something I have no regrets about, and I have no issue with the majority on this matter.  I was and am capable of believing in the unseen, and along that vein, my children received three gifts each Christmas, the same number as Jesus, the real reason for the season, and The Truth Grannie shared with me.  That I believed!