I want to go on record saying we never told our kids there was a Santa nor a Tooth Fairy, but Parker came up with them himself (probably from exposure to pop culture and other children). I tried to tell him they weren't real, but he would have no part of it. I don't like the idea of lying to children about anything, but he wanted and still wants to believe in things like Santa, the Tooth Fairy, etc. So...
I added a couple more myths to make Halloween easier and more interesting. During the course of the last few weeks we've read a lot about what Halloween means to different people through the ages and what different cultures do to celebrate this time of year and the stories which are told, yadda yadda. Very interesting stuff and so I thought why not add some myths of our own. I was chatting at the farmer's market with a mom about the dreaded candy and she mentioned a sprite who feeds on sugar and leaves a present. I thought, now that is a cool sprite and a great way to get the candy out of the holiday, but still have the kids go trick-or-treating with their friends like they want to (this the first time they have any interest in this).I added the Great Pumpkin who works with the sprite (we call her the Halloween Sprite) and leaves a little vegan candy since Dema wasn't buying that all the candy needed to go to the greedy little Halloween Sprite. Fine and dandy, we had our myths which was a great way to keep the non-vegan and high fructose corn syrup candy from entering their little bodies, they were psyched about it all.
Then enters the older and more worldly neighborhood friends (ones who obviously have parents who are stronger and don't lie to their children). The weather was great and the neighborhood was a buzz with children who had a day off from school (some teacher institute day or something). The boys were happy to go "practice trick-or-treating" with the other kids (they dressed up in their costumes and went around to houses, but didn't ring door bells). I was on the porch hanging out with Josie and keeping one eye on the boys when Dema comes running home crying. He was extremely upset and Parker came behind him to explain that the oldest boy in the group had said there was no such thing at a Halloween sprite, Great Pumpkin, and to top it off the Tooth Fairy and Santa are also a sham. Dema was very angry and Parker was confused.
I was a tad upset with this boy who just could not leave well enough alone, but then I decided that was misplaced emotions and during lunch (which happened to be a pancakes made with Silk Pumpkin Spice soymilk as well as more nutritious fare) I chatted with the Parker and Dema. We talked about beliefs and people believing in different things. They both decided they didn't mind that all the other kids didn't believe in the Halloween Sprite, Great Pumpkin, Santa, and the Tooth Fairy.
Later, the same neighborhood kids were at our house helping Parker and Dema paint their homemade costumes. My sister, Karen, came over earlier in the week and helped them start the processes by picking out cardboard boxes (which I, of course, have a ton of via the business) and cut out head and arm holes. Dema kept changing his mind what he wanted to be which works out well with a cardboard box which can become almost anything. He went from pumpkin to boat to many other things and decided on robot. Parker stuck with helicopter, but while his friends were helping him paint he somehow decided it looked more like a submarine. It really does and now we don't have to figure out the propellers on the top.
So while the painting was going on, I chatted with one of my favorite little guys to talk to (he wasn't painting because he was supervising). We talked about trains and other things, but someone brought up the Great Pumpkin. He said there couldn't be a Great Pumpkin because how did it go around to all the houses. Parker said he walked and the rest of the boys said that couldn't happen because it would take too long and then this boy said that the Great Pumpkin couldn't possibly fly because Santa did that already. Then we got into the flight situation and how that was difficult even for Santa and there was no way a pumpkin could manage it without a sleigh and reindeer. I loved how even the kids who knew there is no Santa and didn't believe in the Great Pumpkin were willing to sit there and discuss it in the amazing way young boys discuss things...a little bit of mystic, a little bit of almost adult-like reason, and somethingelse I can't put my finger on, but it makes me feel good. The whole discussion and the way the boys talked about it made me feel like there is just something right in the world. I felt like there would be no wars or problems if we just allowed these kids to sit around painting and working it all out.