I believe in the gift of a child’s innocence.
My innocence was shattered much too early….I was six years old. By six and a half I was jaded and now at twenty-six with two children of my own, I will guard their innocence with everything I have.
I am the younger of the two of us, my brother Christian and I. He is five years older than me and at the age of six that means he is the coolest guy in our small town! I followed him like a puppy and had crushes on all his friends. He tormented me and made my life miserable. I know now that I probably deserved some (but not all) of his tortures for being the quintessential pesky little sister but I never deserved this!
The day I lost my innocence started off as any other, with but one exception, it was about 4 days before Christmas of 1987. I had just gotten home from my class Christmas party when my brother shattered my world. I was so excited to tell my big brother all about my party and, as was common for older brothers, he had no desire to hear about my pitiful little party. Regardless, my mother forced him to listen to me. That was the beginning of the end…
Halfway through telling them about the party, my brother yells out, “You’re such a baby, Cameron!” My mother told him to ‘be nice’ but when he saw me getting upset, he says, “You’re so much of a baby you still believe in Santa Claus! He isn’t real and I can prove it! Mom keeps all the ‘Santa’ presents in the trunk of her car!”
At this point, I am crying profusely yelling at him that I am not a baby and that there is too a Santa Claus. Christian just laughs and runs off laughing merrily at the thought of having tormented his little sister yet again. Little did he realize that he ended the euphoric state of my childhood and pushed me into the black abyss of cynicism and general unhappiness that is adulthood….and all at six years old.
That was the worst Christmas ever. Not because of the presents, as my mother seemed to have taken back all of Christian’s “Santa” gifts, but because the illusions were shattered.
2004 was the year I had my daughter and it was also the year that I regained my innocence…..you see one of a child’s greatest gifts is innocence. Yet, it wasn’t until this year, 2007, when my daughter is now three years old that I can get my brother back for that particular torment of my childhood.
My daughter tells me that Santa is coming to bring her presents soon…and you know what…she’s right! Santa is coming and when she wakes up Christmas morning the cookies we made the night before will be gone, the hot chocolate drank, her stocking full, and special presents just for her will be under the tree that weren’t there the night before.
And I’ll think to myself, “Christian, Santa is real…” and looking at my daughter’s face while she opens her presents, “…and I can prove it.”
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