Have you seen this picture?
Some lady posted it on Facebook, saying how funny it was that her kid would probably never forgive her. The pic got tons of comments of people LOLing and guffawing over how knee-slappingly hysterical it is that the kid was so angry. People are sharing it all over as if this kid’s pain and feelings of betrayal are the stuff of real comedy.
Not surprisingly, it makes me sick.
Look, I get that it’s common for parents to collude to tell most American kids the same dumb lie about a jolly fat guy who breaks into their house and leaves gifts. Of course, people breaking into houses isn’t funny, no, not even when it happens to little MacCauley Culkin. Kids taking things from strangers used to also be strongly cautioned against–until we figured out that most kids are kidnapped or molested by people they already know. But yeah, I do understand that Santa is a fun thing for parents to do. Ditto that “there’s a doll watching you at all times,” elf thing. I get that many people think “pretending” is different from lying, and that this distinction is different in every household. When your teenager “pretends” that they were studying when they were actually out getting high and having sex–I doubt that it will be seen as “hilarious” or “just part of growing up” the way the Santa lie is. Even if “every kid goes through that.”
Surely, once the kid actually asks whether Santa (or the Easter bunny, tooth fairy, Jesus) is real or made-up, a parent has an obligation to tell the truth? Everyone keeps telling me it’s harmless, or even a good thing for parents to lie to kids. I’m just not seeing it. Of course, I have enough issues that my own life isn’t a prime example of what any parent should or should not do. But I can’t get my head around why you’d lie to a kid if you don’t want them to lie to you.
Let’s say though, that lying to kids is fine because they’re just kids and kids should just shut up and do what they’re told. It’s not, but let’s say that it is.
Once you realize that your lie has hurt and upset your child, that they don’t believe they can trust you anymore and are devastated–why the fuck would you be laughing at that?
If I understand this right, the “joke” is that Santa isn’t very important and that kids will “get over it.” Maybe parents have forgotten that being a kid is not easy. You’re little, you can’t do all the things people around you can do. You’re trying to figure everything out and find your place in the world you live in. Why the hell is it FUNNY for the people who are supposed to be helping you to a) lie to you, and b) laugh at the fact that their lies have compromised your relationship? Isn’t laughing at pain you caused the action of a playground bully?
To a kid, Santa is a very, very big deal. Personally, I used to wish that Santa would find my real parents who were happy and successful and really wanted me around–but I digress. Santa is as important to a kid as your marriage is to you. If you got a divorce, would it be FUNNY for your ex to post a vid of you crying? After all, you’ll “get over it,” right? Maybe all his buddies can laugh at how upset you are–because thinking that marriage would last was (like Santa) utterly ridiculous, right? Sheesh.Tags: irks, thinky, wednes past