RIP Santa. Elsa doesn’t need you anymore.

Well, it happened, my little Elsa! You no longer believe in Santa Claus anymore! It happened in a very different way than Nina, though: whereas Nina had been told by her 1st grade teacher at school, you just thought about it so long and hard that you figured it out.

Nina was 6 years old and starting 1st grade. For some reason, her class got to talking about Santa. Her teacher, a rather progressive German woman, told them that she was “Santa” for her daughter. The kids then asked “who is Santa for you?” and she told them the truth: no one because there is no real Santa. Some of the kids in the class cried… but Nina was suddenly very proud and excited to learn a secret about the world of grown-ups. She didn’t feel like she was losing something; quite the opposite. So she told Chéri and I at home about it, with a coy smile, and proceeded to make us extremely confused for the months ahead until Xmas.

In order to keep the secret going for little Elsa, Nina acted so much like she still believed that Chéri and I ended up thinking that she had forgotten what she had learned. Maybe it was too early for her brain to assimilate such “shocking” information? Nah, turns out she was just playing her part as a grown-up!

Wrapping paper on shelf

Our stock of wrapping paper for various occasions (not necessarily for Xmas).

Yours is a totally different story, Elsa. Out of sheer determination to understand things that didn’t completely make sense to you, using all of your reasoning skills, you came to the conclusion yesterday morning that Chéri and I had to be Santa Claus. There was just no other way! So when Chéri picked you up in his arms while we were getting ready to go shopping, giving you a closer look at the wrapping paper we keep on top of the black shelf, you told him point blank: “Papa, je pense que le père Noël c’est toi et mama.”

Chéri didn’t immediately give in and I decided to let him handle it at first. He asked you to reason through it and explain how you had come to that conclusion. Several times, you explained that you had never seen Santa flying in the sky or heard him leaving presents at night. Chéri called me in on that one and I confirmed: “Es verdad, yo tampoco he visto nunca a papá Noel.” You asked for confirmation several times before Chéri finally said you were right.

But you didn’t stop there: “Alors c’est la même chose avec le lapin ?? Et avec la petite souris ??”

Ratonicto Pérez door

The door Abuelo glued to the door frame of the playroom. It came with a book about the Spanish version of the tooth fairy: Ratoncito Pérez.

What followed was tense, and adorable, and a bit confusing for us all.

Pictured: disgusting fly tape ribbons full of flies with bonus flies on the desk, all in our attic!

I couldn’t get you to sit on my lap for more than a second. You needed to be standing up, arms stiff a bit separate from your body, fists slightly clenched, nervous smile on your face. You needed to (loudly) race through all those thoughts and doubts you had on the subject:

“¡Y es por eso que nunca veía al conejito! ¡Y es por eso que siempre sabíais dónde estaban los chocolates que no encontrábamos! ¿Dónde escondéis los regalos? Ah ! C’est pour ça que vous dites qu’il y a des mouches dans le grenier ?! Pour qu’on n’y aille pas ?! ¡Y es por eso que el Abuelo puso la pequeña puertecita arriba en la pared!

¡Para que pensáramos que el ratoncito era de verdad! ¡Y es por eso que no se puede abrir! ¡Y es por eso que no hay una pequeña llave para abrirla! ¡Y es por eso que sonreíais así cuando abríamos los regalos! ¡Y es por eso que nos grabábais! ¡Y es por eso que a veces decís que vais a fiestas del trabajo!”

For the record: we actually do have work things to go to and do not spend all that time buying you surprise gifts; there really are flies in the attic, so please don’t go in there; and you’ll have to take up the “ratoncito Pérez” door issue with Abuelo.

You are incredibly smart but you often don’t give yourself credit for it. You’re too hard on yourself. I’ll save this topic for another post.

We love you, amazing Elsa.

Elsa in Olaf boxers from Disneyland Paris and Xmas socks from her kindergarten teacher, getting ready for school.

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