Normally, I argue for reality with my boys. I realized when they were younger that I was warping their grasp of it. They grew up in a house overflowing with dragons, my gigantic collection of extinct dinosaurs from when I was a kid, my imagination, and, again, they’re named for mythological beasts. Our arguments are typically:
“Mom, how are you going to survive the zombie apocalypse?”
“Zombies aren’t real.”
“But if it was?”
“Zombies aren’t real. There’ll never be an invasion. Our brains are relatively safe.”
“Zombies aren’t real!” These debates went on daily for months. Months. Finally, finally get them to stop bringing it up…..and I buy Warm Bodies and then let them watch it. Poor kids. Seriously confused by that. “Mom, you hate zombies!”
“Mom, would you rather become a vampire or a werewolf?”
“Neither.” Another daily topic.
“No, you have to choose.”
“No I don’t.”
“What if you got attacked?”
“But if you did. I want to be a vampire.”
Ug, all those girls in their class pining away for Edwards of their very own. “Alright. Vampires are dead. Dead. They are cold, have no hearts, and suck blood for a living, killing people. They’re corpses, just like zombies. Werewolves are alive. Shapeshifters. Warm blooded. Much better option.”
“You would change every full moon.”
Once a month. If you only knew, kid. We’ll save that conversation for why the next debate is not possible.
“Mom, if a man gets pregnant-“
“Dude (trying hard not to laugh), that will never happen.”
“But if it does.”
“It won’t, trust me.”
“But if it does?”
“A man will never get pregnant.”
“Never.” This has since become a family joke. We have scores of drawings from booger #2 about pregnant men. I showed them a YouTube video of men- intending to prove that women are weak and complain unnecessarily- undergoing electric shock that closely simulates labor pains. That had us dying laughing. I like #2’s view of equality, that men should share in this experience.
So all these debates where I end up on the side of reality, and yet I staunchly argue that Santa exists. There is something sad about the loss of that belief. It’s when true childhood and wonder and magic ends, I think. They’re 11 and 12 now, and have begun debating the logistics of Santa this year. My role has now changed.
“I’ve been thinking. Its just not possible for Santa to fit down chimneys with that gigantic bag of gifts. Especially since ours is closed off.”
“Dude, it’s called magic.”
Booger #1: “It’s not possible that he can get to everyone’s house in the country-“
“In the world,” my sister corrects.
“In the world, in one night.”
Same answer as above. Magic.
We watched Legend of the Guardians last Friday. The beginning of this week, #2 again states that he doesn’t believe in Santa. “Dude, now you’ve made all their lights flicker off. That is so mean.”
After Santa gifts are opened yesterday, #2 comes up to me and proclaims that Santa is real because he got #1 a Minecraft book and I know nothing about Nintendo.