Monday, February 15, 2016

When your child doesn't believe anymore

We have a thing in my family called the Valentine's Monster. This is what he looks like:

I know that he is very polarizing: Upon seeing him, people are either repulsed or can completely relate to him. My son adores him, because he is the magical creature who comes alive the night before Valentine's Day to leave treats. Or at least my son did adore him. Until this year.

This year, my son woke to find a trail of chocolate heart candies leading from his room to his treat. He excitedly found a bag in his room and collected all the chocolate hearts. I was pleased to see him enjoy the magic of the holiday until he told me that he knew the Valentine's Day Monster wasn't real.

"Why do you say that?" I asked, trying not to sob as my heart was breaking.

"I know it doesn't come alive at night because it is just a statue."

So fine. He doesn't believe in the little monster anymore. I knew that day was coming. At first I worried about this disbelief extending next to Santa or the Tooth Fairy (who hasn't even had a chance to visit him yet). But, I think I am safe on those two fronts as there is a culture built up around those figures: Santa and the fairy exist in books and cartoons and messages everywhere already.

In retrospect: I should have made a book about the Valentine's Day Monster before introducing him to my son.

What was it like when your child learned the truth about beloved figures like Santa and the Easter Bunny? Tell me every crushing detail in the comments. I'll get my tissues.

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