Monday, November 17, 2014

The Biggest Conspiracy Ever

There is a cultural conspiracy so elaborate, that just about every child in America will hear it.  Not only is it a flat out lie, but it is purposefully perpetuated by parents, grandparents, teachers, strangers, radio announcers, TV commercials, TV shows, movies, newscasters, even church congregations.  I'm willing to say it's probably the biggest conspiracy of all time, yet we continually shield our children from learning the truth as long as possible.  When they ask us questions about the nature of this Secret Conspiracy, we make up blatant lies in order to answer and keep them believing the lie.  And one lie leads to another, until this Secret Conspiracy is so elaborate, only magical phenomena can explain it and science and evidence is thrown out the window.

There are so many possible questions and infinite fake answers that parents give their children.  Most people think its fun and some even think its necessary to tell their children these lies.  Parents spend HUNDREDS of dollars of their own money perpetuating this lie every year.  Some people think it is magical and fun to let their children believe in this Secret Conspiracy.

Some observant children begin to wise up and piece together the facts that don't quite add up.  They will come to their parent or another adult they trust and straight out ask if the Secret Conspiracy is real.  Sometimes they will even gather evidence that suggests it is not real.  Some parents might fess up at this point, possibly crushing their child's trust and beliefs, or else confirming what their child may have already deduced.  But depending on the child's age, the parent or other trusted adult will make up even MORE lies, pointing out ways and spending even more money to convince their child it could not possibly be imaginary.  After all, how could so many people be in on it?

[Truman Show Flashback]
Cue Music.  Go Wide.  Cue Light Cam 8
Marlon: "And the last thing I'd ever do is lie to you.  Think about it Truman, if everybody's in on it, I'd have to be in on it too.  And I'm not in on it, because there is no it."

I've decided that I am done lying.  My almost 9-year old trusts me unflinchingly and I don't want to lie to her anymore.  I want her to trust me when she asks questions about pain and life and death and Christ and everything else.  So when it comes to the Secret Conspiracy, I am not going to make up any more stories.  I want her to trust me that genuine spiritual experiences are possible, so therefore I  can no longer try to convince her of untrue supernatural phenomenon in order to perpetuate the Secret Conspiracy.

She is so trusting, and has believed all my Secret Conspiracy lies thus far, that when I tried to carefully unfold the truth for her, she didn't get it.  I tried to explain that reindeer can't really fly, fat men can't really climb down chimneys or travel the entire globe in one night, elves don't exist and presents have to be paid for, and she just couldn't let go of MAGIC. So I had to spoil it all and tell her the truth: Santa Claus is pretend.  Magic isn't real.

Oh, the crushing disappointment.  If ever there is a moment of her childhood that will haunt her future psychotherapy sessions years from now, it will be this one.  Where in a matter of moments, so many shattering truths became known at once: her parents had lied to her for so long, magic doesn't exist, and she won't be getting a Razor Scooter or iPad for Christmas because her parents can't afford them and there are no elves to make it for her.

Don't hate on me for my decision to tell my daughter the truth. I did not ruin Christmas. Only now that she knows can I begin to rebuild her trust.

And I feel liberated that I no longer have to lie about SC or give him credit for the thoughtful Christmas gifts I paid for with my hard earned cash.  And now I can make Christmas about the other Him: the one Jesus Christ whom I do truly believe in and love with all my heart.

After a few minutes of stunned, panicked silence, her whole 8.96 years of life came crashing down around her.  So I video-taped it.   It's funny yet also tragic.  Hopefully she'll forgive me someday.  It's hard for her to loose the fantasy, but we'll still make Christmas magical through Christ, family togetherness, gift-giving, and being Santa for those who need it most.

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