My line: “Grace, it’s time to admit you know the truth about Santa”.
Her line: “You’re right mom. I’ve known for a couple of years but I didn’t want to say anything because you and dad seem to enjoy talking about him so much. I know you just wrote those notes with your left hand, and the deer poop on the driveway was just frozen deer scat that dad collected on his trail walks and hid in the freezer, or maybe they were Milk Duds. I know the bells that were strategically placed in the front yard bushes were put there by dad so I’d believe Santa dropped them from his sleigh upon take-off or landing. Also, you can stop using baking soda and water on dad’s snow boots to put Santa footprints all over the TV room floor. I know this creates a mess for you on Christmas morning. You’ve soldiered well mom, keeping this folklore alive, but yes, I’ve known for some time that Santa is not real. I’m glad we could finally have this conversation.”
Our talk did not look like that at all. Instead, it was more like:
“Grace, it’s time to admit you know the truth about Santa”.
Her response was a guttural anguished cry of: “WHAT!?” followed by additional questions, accusations, tears, confusion, concern about Easter, remaining baby teeth and that one time a leprechaun threw her socks all over her bedroom floor. It was a night of unintended disclosure and disappointment. In all seriousness, I read her wrong. My husband’s relentless attempt to keep the magic of Santa, elves and reindeer (frozen deer poop and all) alive had, remarkably, worked. She believed!
In time, my daughter would have accepted the truth about Santa without my intervention. I just needed to be patient and continue to play my “Mrs. Claus” part. As a result, she’ll tell her version of this story over-and-over, along with the one where I accidentally let her hamster lose.
Where are you too focused on truth-telling versus assessing the other person’s readiness to hear? What will it serve you by being so focused on your position?