No Virginia…

16 11 2009

My daughters are 12 and 14.  And I decided it was time.  Time for the talk.  Time to break it to them the truths and horrors that I have kept from them for years now.  Part of my hesitation in having the talk was knowing that once I began the talk it would mean the end of an era.  It would mean I was openly admitting to myself and to them that they are growing up.  That they are no longer infantile little girls, but now becoming young ladies, advancing all too quickly towards adulthood.

I consoled myself in that they probably already knew what I was about to share with them.  I prepared myself for this serious conversation, rehearsing my words, dabbing away my tears and studying my reflection to find the appropriate facial expression to convey my seriousness without my emotional heartbreak.  To me, in many ways, they are still little kids.  Little girls who deserve to be spared the truths of my adult world.  But I have to accept that they are encountering adult conversations and situations and they deserve to be treated like the adults they are becoming.

I sat in their school parking lot, my final rehearsal before they were dismissed from school and I began my speech.

They piled in, energetic and full of chatter.  Kayla told me about how her friend was talking about her plans for the weekend which involved oral sex and a boyfriend.  Except my baby girl didn’t know that it was oral sex, she just reiterated the words of her friend and then shuddered, as did I.  “Isn’t that nasty?”  I breathed a sigh of relief and inhaled a breath of courage.

As I told them the truth about Santa Claus and the identity of this seasonal man, I was hopeful that what I was saying was all old news to them both.

Instead, they both cried.  We all did.  It couldn’t possibly be true.  They thought I was joking.  I immediately regretted saying anything at all.  I had just assumed I would be confirming what they already knew.  Now granted, they had heard that it was a role played by me instead of an old pudgy man in a red suit, but evidently I have played it so well that they had even argued with their middle school friends that he was real.

There was the time in North Carolina when we were broke and couldn’t possibly afford gifts but Santa had came; and the iPods that I had refused to buy them, certainly that had to have been Santa; the fish that I hated but Santa had given…they offered me example after example of how it couldn’t be true.

Lord knows how much longer I could have avoided devastating their childhood.  I wish I had held on a bit longer.

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