The End of the Innocence


I am really struggling with something and, honestly, it has been a long time coming and probably should have happened awhile ago. Isaac is in fourth grade and still very innocent and naive. That is changing as the kids in his class are getting older, but he remains a very sweet boy and so absolutely and wonderfully innocent. I would keep him that way forever, I often think, but I know that neither he nor I really want that. But there is something so pure looking into his eyes and hearing him talk. I truly want to cry when I think of the end of his innocence.

KidsAtChristmas1 KidsAtChristmas2

I am not sure when I learned the truth about Old Saint Nick. I am pretty sure I knew in second grade. Isaac truly still plans to ask Santa for things this Christmas. In many ways, I would love to allow him to believe one more year (or ten more), but I feel like we need to bring him in on the secret. I know that fourth grade is when kids start to pick on each other relentlessly. I struggle between wanting to preserve a bit of his innocence a little while longer versus not wanting him to lose some of his innocence through teasing and bullying. And this, dear friends, is what makes me want to cry.

15 thoughts on “The End of the Innocence

  1. Just the other day my son who is in 2nd grade says, “Mommy and daddy put all those presents under the tree…there is no Santa….he’s not real”…to which my daughter who is in 6th grade answers..”Yes there is Laken…mom and dad couldn’t afford all those presents.” So…whatever innocence my daughter has left I will preserve and let her handle the kids at school. They grow up too fast as it is.

  2. That is so sweet! My son, is in 5th grade this year and still believes. Really, I’m not kidding.
    Maybe give your boy one more year. If the other kids start teasing him, he’ll ask you about it. That’s when you tell him the truth. He won’t get teased relentlessly—one guy will say, “there’s no such thing as Santa, you dip wad!” and he’ll drop it. He’ll come home and you’ll lay it all out over some cookies and milk. You’ll say all the right things because you’ve been thinking about it for a while. He’ll do just fine.
    .-= Ceecee´s last blog ..Miniature Melancholy =-.

  3. Oh boy. This is a tough hurdle. My youngest son’s 3rd grade teacher told him Santa was dead and that he’d died hundreds of years ago. Talk about devastation! It was not a fun time.

    I think you may be right–it is time, probably. Can you wait until he asks you? Of course, the questions may be prompted by being picked on at school.

    One avenue to consider: you have a younger child, right? Bring Isaac into your “man” space and have a mantalk with him. Ask him if he’s wondering about Santa and if he’s real. If he says, “yeah, the kids at school have been saying…” then you have an avenue. Tell him, well we didn’t want your little sister to find out so we had to keep it quiet but I figure you’re a big guy now and we need your help to keep the secret from her. Explain that while Santa isn’t a real person he is the symbol of the season, of goodness and sharing and helping others that we all want to be part of our holidays. So even though St. Nicholas was a real person, the spirit of what he did has been kept alive all these years by the idea of Santa. Or something like that. You may want to read the story of the Three Purses to him, too, to show him where the idea came from.

    Any way you go about it, it’s kinda tricky. I remember my older boys–they knew for some time before they let on to us! They were protecting OUR innocence!

  4. I believed until I was 12! I honestly wanted to believe that there was a jolly man that loved all of the children of the world and wanted to bless them with special gifts made by other little people who also loved children. But… my belief came crashing down on Christmas day when I was 12. My mom had my little sister just weeks before and was sooo tired she fell asleep before setting out stockings and presents. Of course 6am rolled around and I ran out to the living room to find NOTHING under the tree. I was devistated. I ran to tell her and that is when she broke the news. She was tired and felt bad for me and told me to get over it, haha. It was time to grow up, YUCK!! I told our girls 2 years ago that it is a great myth to have around and not to spoil it for others. We still do stockings and everything that comes along with it. Christmas is my most favorite time of year to this day. I listen to Christmas music all year long and can’t wait to get out the decorations for it. He will be okay when ever that time comes. Just let him tell you when it is. Honesty is the best policy right? If we could only hang on to their innocence!!!!
    .-= Mandie´s last blog ..Foodie Post =-.

  5. You are a big old Hunk of Honey, worrying about him!

    I don’t know if our kids ever really believed. But we always told them that Santa was a very fun thing to pretend to believe in, and for heavens sake, don’t ruin it for other little kids!

  6. Well I’ll tell you a little story about how I found out about Santa… My sister, 10 years my senior, and I went to the local drug story so I could see Santa. My big sister had a crush on that Santa and sat on his lap and whispered things to him and they giggled and the such. Well I was 6…that told me there was no Santa especially when she called him Merle…very sad. I pretended for several years before giving up on the idea. I have a feeling Isaac may be feeling something is wrong but not willing to let go of the mystery. Give him time to keep it to himself. He’ll be fine.

  7. Oh, please let him have just one more Christmas! My daughter just turned 12 and is in the 6th grade. She has asked and I told her do you really want to know? I have also told her that the kids that tell her there is no Santa don’t get the presents from Santa anymore that their presents come from their parents. With some kids I just tell her they are too mean and that is why Santa don’t visit them. I’m crazy but I can remember when I found out and it just was so upsetting. The tooth fairy still visits my house too! She has 2 more teeth and then that will be over. Tooth Fairy came several times this Summer!

  8. I guess we are not the only ones who have kids that believe at an older age (than what I was). I am so glad to read all of your words. I think we’ll leave it alone for now and see what happens…

  9. I understand completely… thanks for sharing your thoughts. My 3rd grader still believes. I can only imagine the debate on the school bus with kindergartners on up to middle schoolers. I know I can’t protect him from everything (as much as I would like to!), but I can allow him to feel the joy and magic of the holidays for as long as he wants to. At some point we’ll talk about it, when he’s ready, and it’ll be okay.
    .-= Beau´s last blog ..Warm November Days =-.

  10. I remember reading what one blogger did, but she had older kids. When asked if Santa was real or after being told that they didn’t believe in Santa any more, she told them that when they stopped believing in Santa, the Santa presents stopped because Santa no longer brought presents to kids that stopped believing. They never asked again. Probably works better on the older kids though.

  11. This is why we homeschool now:) We had to the same thing when our daughters were in public school…we had to tell them many things sooner….because we were afraid the other children or teachers would.

    Both of my daughters are so very sweet and we could take it any longer the kids and teachers were to mean!

    They are both very sweet and very happy girls now!!!!! Jessica 15 and Sarah 12:)


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