Gabriel is 9, and he is my oldest little. But, to me, he is still a little boy.
Yes, we have sheltered and protected him. We have created as much of a fantasy reality as possible for all of our children.
We know that they will be grown up much longer than they will be little, and it is the being little that we want them to embrace…that we want to embrace.
So, when it comes to things like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, we have allowed the fantasy to continue. Gabriel’s word that I (Mrs. Claus) gave him this year is “believe”. We have stressed to him that we all create our own happiness, our own truths, our own realities. We choose what to believe.
So far, he has not asked us any of the hard questions. He has stated things like, “Some people do not believe in Santa Claus, but I do not understand that. I believe.” We have simply responded with, “That is what is important. It is always important to believe in yourself…and to know that what you believe is important.”
He lost a tooth on Memorial Day. It was a bit of an impulsive decision, but the Tooth Fairy gave him more money for that tooth because it was his first big one to lose. She thought that it might be worth a little more, at least for the first time.
We assume that Gabriel told his friends about it, and we also believe that one of them told him that the tooth fairy is not real.
What is the saddest part about it for me is not that he is questioning real versus fantasy. It is that he would not just ask because he wants the fantasy to continue as much as we do. Or, he wants it to continue for us, for Ethan, and for Summer.
While it disappoints me that someone would try to ruin someone, a little boy’s, joy, I do understand that not everyone has the same beliefs that we do about how to raise children. The one thing that I strongly believe, though, is that taking someone’s joy away is always wrong, no matter the age. We have urged our children to always remember that people believe what they believe for a reason, and it is not up to us to question that for them, at least not for the sole purpose of extinguishing their light so that it will not shine.
All of this is being said because Gabriel lost another tooth today. He was excited, and he immediately put it in a bag to put under his pillow for the Tooth Fairy. I am not sure if he still really believes, if he wants to believe, or if he just likes the tradition and wants it to continue. I am just happy that he is still my little boy.