There have certainly been many, many bloggable events since Alex's birthday. The boys accepted offers for their club hockey teams next year and played in the parity rounds, lacrosse has been going great, we re-did our front walkway and landscaping, the boys got their boosters, Alex had his first communion, and so on. I've been super busy with the PTO and am elbow deep in planning the carnival that we are hosting on June 5th. But nothing has stopped me enough to write a blog post until yesterday's major moment.
Ashton came home from school yesterday having lost a tooth, for the first time in a few years actually (his 9th, to be precise, and I didn't even know it was loose!). I said Oooo the tooth fairy is coming tonight! And we moved on with our day.
Cut to bed time. The lights are off and I'm tucking him in. Ashton had the little box with his tooth in it in his hand. I was kissing him goodnight and he said "I'm going to hide my tooth. I'm going to pick a really tricky place and if the tooth fairy is real, she'll know where it is. She'll be able to find it no matter what."
I have to say, I was a little panicked. What was I going to do - comb through his room in the dark at 11 pm trying to find this little thing? It didn't seem likely that I would. I didn't respond right away and Ashton said "Will she be able to find it? She'll find it if she's real right?"
"Do you think she's real? What do you think?"
"I think the tooth fairy is you."
And we just looked at each other and I knew it was the right time. I said, "You're right honey, I am." And he responded by hugging me. I could have melted. And then he said "What about the easter bunny? You know there were a lot of things this year that had me wondering. Like, I saw Ariane hiding the eggs for Ainsleigh in her yard. The Easter Bunny is supposed to do that but maybe Ariane is the Easter Bunny for Ainsleigh. Are you the Easter Bunny for us?"
"Yes I am."
"Okay." [thinks] "You know, my biggest question is about Santa. And Pete. Are you Santa?"
[pause - ahhhh!]
"Yes honey, me and Daddy are."
"You move Pete every night?"
"Where is he right now?"
"Oh, well sweetie he is in the basement with all the Christmas stuff."
His eyes opened so wide, like he could hardly consider this a possibility.
"All those years, when we weren't supposed to touch him, I never did Mommy. But I could have?"
"You could have."
"And nothing would have happened!"
"WOW..." and he smiled really big. "I can't wait to hold him! Wow, Pete! Really, wow!"
It was the sweetest conversation. I told him the truth about everything. Surprisingly Pete was the biggest focus. "So Pete doesn't bring us pajamas, you do?" "The notes Pete left, you wrote those?" "When Pete didn't move a couple of times, you just forgot?" He's very beloved in our house :) He asked about how I did this photo from two Christmasses ago:
And I told him. He smiled. And hugged me again.
"So, the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Pete. And Santa. Wow." and then, "Wait. Thanksgiving is just Thanksgiving right? There's nothing to know about that is there? That's just great on its own?"
"Yes, Thanksgiving is great on its own."
We kept talking, about how Alex didn't know and so many other kids don't know, (meanwhile Alex is SHOUTING from his bedroom that I hadn't kissed him goodnight yet and what was I DOING in Ashton's room for so long) and I whispered to Ashton that he was on our team now to keep the secret. He liked this very much. I said there is so much magic, just because Santa isn't real doesn't make Christmas any less special. Christmas will still be a wonderful time, and you can help! He said, "Oh I'm going to use Pete to play so many tricks on Alex! I have so many ideas, it's going to be great!"
He just kept sighing, and smiling and shaking his head, and telling me a few stories about how he found Santa's wrapping paper and tags, how he saw a present that Alex ended up getting from Santa, etc. So, he knew in his heart but I think wasn't ready to truly find out until that moment last night. It was something I will never forget - a rite of passage in every child's life.
Of course, the tooth fairy did still come. I knew Alex would ask and I didn't want Ashton to feel entirely grown up. But there are, of course, some secrets parents keep to themselves ;)