And as I prepared for Christmas last year, standing in the check out line at the store with Bebe, clutching the beloved Dog Pillow Pet that Peanut had asked for on his wish list to Santa, I knew… just knew that I was helping to drive the last nail into the coffin.
“You know what this means right?” I look at Bebe trying to gauge her thoughts.
“Yes,” she replied, holding back a smile.
“No, I mean you really REALLY know what this means,” I say drawing in a breath, “I’m not just one of Santa’s helpers.”
There I had said it. The secret was out. I waited. This was my Bebe. The innocent child who believed in Unicorns, rainbows, wishes on stars. The girl who thought everyone in the world was good and is always honestly stunned when someone is mean to her.
“I know mom,” she looks at me and lays her head against my shoulder, “It’s okay with me. I’m excited to be one of your helpers.”
Tears. Tears in my eyes right then. I won’t forget that moment. The sweetest moment where a child tells you without trying to break your heart into a million pieces and scatter it across the room that it’s okay to let her grow up. She’s ready.
“Okay. Well, now you have to hold secrets too. You can’t tell Peanut and you can’t ruin it for him. Got it?” She nodded, grinning ear to ear.
It had happened and it was probably one of the saddest moments of being a mom. I somehow expected her to be 30 and still coming down the stairs excited at everything Santa brought her. Even Shorty, 16 months younger than her had let go of the magic of Santa a year or so before. He was always a skeptic though and I’m just stunned he was still a believer when he was in Kindergarten. But this? This was cutting like a knife.
This must be the year for the girl to shed some of her girliness; I’ve been given Easter basket suggestions and negotiated with over the Tooth Fairy. She’s embracing her new found knowledge like a champ.
Me on the other hand, I’ll be in the corner clutching my jingle bells, my fairy wings and plastic Easter eggs, crying softly.