17 January 2013

Being Momzilla and Trust

"I am Momzilla -- and proud to be." When my nine-year old isn't listening or is procrastinating, I remind him with that statement. I'm not letting it go; I'm not letting it slide. When you're supposed to practice your guitar, you WILL practice. When your supposed to do your homework, you WILL do your homework. When your chores need to be done, you WILL do them. You WILL be appropriately obedient. You WILL do what your told, when your told, the way your told, until it's done.

What does "appropriately obedient" mean? It means that he must always obey what is right. It means I will do my best to educate him morally and socially, as well as intellectually, so he can discern what is right. Even the Army teaches soldiers they are not to obey an illegal order. I also always keep my promise never to tell him to do anything that isn't right and proper. This includes never lying to my child about anything.

That, unfortunately, included Santa Claus. When I could no longer answer his questions without lying to him, I had to tell him the whole truth. I had never lied to him. I always told him that Santa is the Spirit of Christmas, that he embodies all that we should and want to be as people, all the time. That Santa teaches us to give selflessly, that we give gifts in rememberance of the gifts of the Magi to the infant Christ and in honor of the gift of Christ himself. I had always explained that Santa was Saint Nicholas and who he was.

But, it started with the question, "What does the Tooth Fairy have to do with Jesus." Well, I wouldn't lie. I said it had nothing to do with Him. That it was made up just for fun to take away some of the upset over a lost tooth. From there, he began asking very pointed questions about all those sweet childhood myths. So, just after his eighth Christmas, I told him the whole story.

Part of my reasons for shattering those myths was my own experience. When I was told all those stories, I had been asking questions for years. I had been lied to to maintain the illusions, partly, I think, to protect my three younger sisters' own illusions. What hurt me was not the loss of those sweet illusions or the supposed end of my childhood -- it was being lied to. I don't think I've ever trusted a thing my parents said since then.

I simply do not want my child to every have cause not to trust what I say to him about anything. And, I will always be ready to guide him, advise him, and lead by example to always act with honor, loyalty, and integrity in all things.