"Mom, not everybody believes in Santa, right?" Says Liam, innocently probing his inveterate honest mother.
After thanking the baby Jesus for letting him ask me in such a way that there was an easy truthful answer, I slowly proceed, "Yes Liam. Not everybody believes in Santa..." Then, I wait...knowing he's tired and talkative, he will fill in the blanks without me saying a thing...I am just hoping he doesn't go there. You know where. To that no-man's land of white lies all parents dread. Yes, there is a Santa. Yes, I believe in him. I start panicking that he will indeed go there, so I head him off at the pass, "Do you believe in Santa guy?" (did I mention Elena was also in the vehicle?)
"YES!" They shout, the relief palpable in their voices.
Phew, I breathe a silent sigh of relief and head down a gleeful path with them, "Yes, you will find kiddos that in this world there are believers like us and skeptics. Do you know what a skeptic is?" They both shake their heads. I explain, "A skeptic is a doubter. One who has trouble believing. It's ok though, the world needs both believers and doubters. The doubters are the ones who question everything. They perform tests and do experiments and research. They search far and wide for answers. Sometimes they find they believers were right to have believed all along and sometimes they find the believers were not, but either way, they ask the questions, and that's ok. But, here, in this family, we are and have always been BELIEVERS, haven't we?"
"YES!!" They again are in complete agreement and completely happy to have their Santa intact and their beliefs safe and sound once again.