I am very behind on blog reading, so I spent much of my morning catching up.  Yesterday my wonderful friend Claudette wrote about belief, and how even though you KNOW something doesn’t exist, it’s Ok to still have a little bit of whimsy and hope.  Her blog made me think about a story from a few years ago.

I belong to a book club in my apartment building.  A few years ago we read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  First off- you must understand that this is one of my favorite books of all time.  There was a point where I read this every year, my paperback copy, bought secondhand, literally fell apart from overuse.  So, I love this book.

The book is about a very poor family in Brooklyn New York in the early 1900’s (it begins in the summer of 1912) Though many things are against her, the heroine, Francie just keeps going. Seriously- talk about persistence!

At one point the book talks about Christmas.  The Mother character is tired of all the crap that life has thrown at her and she starts to feel down, and her mother tells her that you have to give the kids something to believe in- Santa Claus and whatever.  I’m butchering the summary, but it’s really a beautiful scene and it reminds me of what Claudette wrote about. And in book club I talked about how much this scene meant to me.

so…

One of the women in the book club told me that I was a bad Mother because I told my daughter about Santa Claus.  And Santa Claus is fake, so I was essentially lying to my daughter.  And As I lied to my daughter, my daughter was going to grow up with a distorted sense of reality and end up hating me because I fed her a bunch of lies while she was growing up…

Yeah…

Ask me how I felt about that…

I was being called a horrible Mother because I told my daughter about Santa Claus.

I sat there speechless (which you know is rare for me) and just stared at her.  Then I wanted to say some less than flattering things.  I really really wanted to tell her off. But as I sat there with my mouth open, I just felt sorry for her.  I felt sorry for the person who felt so bad about herself she had to belittle another person. It was like she was on a mission to make me feel bad.

She crapped on my favorite book and my parenting skills.

But I wasn’t going to let her get the better of me.

Because I knew in my heart that I was raising my daughter in the best way I knew how, and maybe I made some parenting mistakes (as we all do), but telling my daughter about Santa Claus wasn’t one of them.

And I knew the underlying messages in the book got my through my adolescence. That book made me strong. That book probably helped me teach my daughter the lesson of perseverance and persistence. And what is perseverance and persistence? Belief.  Belief in yourself.  Believing that you will get through another day.  Believing that even though it doesn’t seem possible, you need to have hope. Hope is what gets you through the day.  You hope things will be better.  And you plow on.

Hope and belief.  It’s that simple.

 

56 thoughts on “Is it a Lie?

      1. Well that explains everything! People without children always make the best parents! NOT!! How annoying! Unless a child is being hurt or you ask for advice, people should mind their own business. I take it she doesn’t have a lot of friends.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. sorry, meant to continue. They will preach to me about their belief and then jump all over the things that we do ‘when you don’t even have any real faith’. Your story…it resonates with me. Thank you for sharing. And the mention! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I tried to link you but my computer was wonky! I’ve gotten this about Halloween….I want to say, do whatever you want in your house, but don’t crap on my rainbow

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Not hard if you’re computer literate….Wordpress still stymies me sometimes. I applaud when I actually publish a post (there’s a reason I list songs I like and don’t add the links….) maybe that will be my goal for next year….master linking

      Liked by 3 people

  1. I can’t be a mother so I never ever give advice… But I tell my niece about Santa Claus because I believe in Santa Claus… I believe in magic and other stuff… Ah well…
    Not sure if you were asking for this answer LA…. But most people think I am weird… Ah well
    Faith hope is needed because that gets me from one day to next…. I lose them both frequently but then I find them too

    Liked by 4 people

  2. It is always best to know the truth. One of the most revealing moments for me with my mom was when we were in Manhattan. I was around 10 years old and my mom pointed out a man watching me. She pointed out this was not good and for that, I am grateful that she alerted me to a danger I didn’t know existed and she was the same way with everything.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I think I read that book when I was growing up but I’m going to have to read it again. While I was pretty sad when I found out there was no Santa (quite accidentally as I was helping my mom wrap Christmas presents one year) I was never mad at her for lying to me and I definitely wasn’t traumatized. I’m living on a lot of hope and belief with the way the country is going now…hope that people will finally wake up and see the truth about what is going on and belief that someone can actually do something about it!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I read that book when I was a teenager, and still have my mother’s copy somewhere. As for Santa being a lie, is nothing sacred about Christmas anymore? First Baby it’s Cold outside is outlawed from radio stations, then the Rudolph tv show is bad because it promotes bullying, where will it end. I stopped going to library bookclub because I could not handle the way some of the long time members managed to monopolize and squash the other members opinions…..it just caused way too much grief.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. That woman is miserable and had to put you down for not being miserable like her. Let kids be kids. My daughter is only 4 and I love seeing her get so excited about Santa. Someday she will lose that magic and wonder. I will let her have that innocence as long as possible.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I think your titles captures the essence. Was it really a lie? More like a traditional celebration. I can certainly think of “real” lies that are more devastating. I’m in a discussion group, but you might call it a book club about one book – the Tao Te Ching. Much less judgmental people just trying to share and figure out meanings of the words. I thought that was what book clubs did 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s pretty strange. It seems that people are almost being taught to be negative and to criticize now days. It’s the norm on social media pages. Hard to say why people are so angry and unhappy right but some are lashing out at everyone around them. I’m glad she didn’t come back to your group 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      2. This comment made me think of another situation where someone was so rude to me I was in shock, but that’s a whole story. I think there are people so miserable that they need to make those around them miserable. Some people want to suck the happiness out of a room

        Liked by 2 people

      3. That’s a good description – “suck the happiness out of the room.” And there always seems to be those in the workplace that anted to take a hard job and make it even harder. Hit the drama button. I used to joke that I wanted to invent an aerosol form of Valium that I could pump into the ventilation system to chill everyone out 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  7. That woman is crazy! SHE is the bad mother.
    I told my grandchildren that I believe in Santa and I’m Jewish!!!! When they said, “you do?” I said, “Yes, I believe in the possibility of all things magical. ”

    Tell your friend that she is the one with a warped sense of understand what is right for children. Kids see magic in everything. A child who believes in magic and wondrous possibilities is more creative than the one who does not. I read Harry Potter with my kids in class. The delight in the children as they read about Hogwarts was so special.

    Honestly, this woman is a nutcase. I taught elementary school for 36 years. Children NEED to believe in fantasy and magic. It is part of how they learn about life. And also how they grow up to know the difference between fact and fiction. Everyone secretly wants to believe in special powers beyond the norm. That is why science fiction creates super heroes. That’s why we love Superman and Wonder Woman and Spiderman.

    So What is wrong with a happy old man who delivers presents to good little girls and boys? My grand kids believe in Santa and Santa doesn’t discriminate. He doesn’t care what faith a child is. If they are good, they get a present. What a lovely lesson to teach children. Just because she’s a grinch doesn’t mean the rest of us have to be.

    Think of children’s literature…it is filled with fantasy ,unicorns, magical fairies and wondrous genies on flying carpets, pumpkins that turn into coaches etc. . I have degrees in elem. education, early childhood education and gifted education and NOWHERE does it say that children shouldn’t believe in Santa or the Easter Bunny or Unicorns or flying carpets. It is part of the magic of childhood. In fact EVERY classroom should feel like a room where magic happens.
    I feel sorry for that woman’s children. Bah Humbug on her!!! She is wrong. Not you!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well, she doesn’t have any kids, so there’s that! I completely agree with everything you said! It was a ridiculous statement and I was so shocked to hear it that I just sat and stared. I mean…seriously…who thinks like that?!?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The fact that she doesn’t have children makes it even more appalling that she’d even comment on how you raised your daughter. She clearly has a screw loose. Children are not little adults. They are kids who are filled with curiosity and wonder. They believe in a Peter Pan and Tinker Bell and all the magic in the universe. How sad that someone stole the magic from that woman. She could use some. Thank goodness she doesn’t have children to ruin. What a miserable human being she is. I hope she doesn’t return to your book club. Nobody likes a DebbieDowner!

        Liked by 3 people

  8. I’m amazed by how much we, as women, shame one another. How could she ever know what type of mother you were just from one snippet of your overall mothering? Anywho, I’m sure it’s fine to pass on these things. I haven’t met one person who was like wtf? You lied to me mom? We’re just kinda like oh mkay, we get it. Santa is a fun-spirited way to receive presents. Sheesh! I’m mad all over again for you.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. This hit a nerve for me a bit. I always wonder at parents or childless adults how look down on those of us who tell our children about Santa and act as if we are maliciously lying to them or allowing them to latch on to something unhealthy and fake. It’s celebrating childlike wonder and innocence. They will outgrow it one day. I wasn’t sad when I outgrew Santa and I have lovely memories of the excitement of believing in him. It fuelled my imagination. Santa is also supposed to be about a person who is kind and giving and wants to bring happiness to all children no matter who they are… that’s the lesson. Sorry for the mini rant… Lol

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m glad to hear the rant, because it r3minds me that it was a ridiculous thing. When she made the comment, I actually thought to myself is talking about Santa a bad thing? And I decided it was right for me, but hearing the outrage of others makes me feel better

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Honestly, I sometimes think the secret to life is “don’t let the petty idiots bring you down.” You handled that rude person perfectly. Of course you are a good mother! We all get to decide whether or not to teach our children about Santa Claus and how we tell them about Santa Clause. (My parents told me there wasn’t one at a very early age, but I told mine about Santa but answered any questions about him with the simple phrase, “It’s a mystery.”) So many people want to tell us how to live our lives, but it is not. their. place. Merry Christmas!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I don’t know why people think it’s ok to give advice to others, especially unwanted advice. I think most people want to feel superior, and the only way they can do that is to put someone else down.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. The year my oldest was 7 or 8, I was debating on whether or not to tell him Santa was a myth. We didn’t have money for presents that year because we had spent everything we had to rent a house and get us off a relatives floor. I mean everything. The new landlord was a gem for accepting quarters, dimes, and nickels for the last few dollars. We finally told the boys that Santa had helped us get into a house instead of buying presents. Christmas Eve we get a knock on the door. As we open the door, we see a man in a red Santa suit jumping into the back door of a blue Ford Taurus as it took off down the street. He had left behind several huge boxes of packages for everyone and food for a Christmas dinner. I have never told any of my kids santa doesn’t exist. Because who else would have done that for us.

    Liked by 3 people

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