Thursday, October 22, 2009

Anxiety and Santa

Last Tuesday I took Cade to the doctor for his adoption check up and to discuss his anxiety problems. The doctor quickly agreed that we need to get these anxiety problems nipped in the bud so he referred us to a counselor. I was actually relieved to hear that because I want him to handle his anxiety better than I have over the years. For those who aren't Type A perfectionists it's easy to say "don't worry". For those of us that anxiety is woven into the fibers of our being, it's not that simple. In fact telling me to quit worrying is as annoying as hearing "just adopt and then you'll get pregnant". Both of those phrases are like nails on a chalkboard to me. So I'm really hoping Cade will learn some coping skills and maybe pass them on to his mother….

That same evening, after the doctors appointment, we had another stressful moment occur. Cade straight out asked me if Santa was real. Since he asked me a direct question I knew I needed to answer it truthfully. Before I had a chance to answer he went on to tell me that he had been arguing about this with Neilson. I knew it was time. My heart broke a little. Jay was in the back of the house and walked out to see me sitting on the floor in front of Cade, in our recliner, trying to gently break the news to him. Cade took it very hard. He cried and Jay and I felt horrible. I told him that we could still pretend for as long as he wanted. I didn't know what else to do. Jay was also at a loss so he tired to divert Cade's attention by asking him to help him feed Buttons.

After the initial disappointment of Christmas loosing just a little of the fun for Jay and I, we started laughing about it. I told Jay that at least now Cade had something to talk to the counselor about. We looked back over the years and talked about how we were the cause of Cade's breakdown over learning that Santa wasn't real…There was the year that we wanted to give something to Cade early on Christmas Eve so Santa dropped the bag out of his sleigh right into our front yard while he was on his way to the other side of the world….then there was the year that he forgot to shut the fireplace doors when he left….or the fact that he would never eat a whole cookie, he'd just take one big bite and leave teeth marks in it….or that Santa made a black pirate ship especially for him because he would like it better…etc. You get the picture…I think Jay and I enjoyed what we could dream up each year more than anything.

Later on in the evening I was sorting through some old Kindergarten papers, finally putting them in a scrapbook, and I came across scheme #546 of us trying to cement Cade's belief in Santa. I found a letter that Santa Jay wrote to Cade telling him he knew he'd been a good boy that past year. I took the letter to Jay to show him that Cade had actual written proof to show the counselor when he told her we were the root of his anxiety. At that exact moment, while I was holding the letter, we had a household emergency. I laid the paper down and completely forgot about it.

After the emergency was over and cleaned up I looked up to see Cade holding the letter from Santa…and he was reading it. I couldn't get to him soon enough to get the letter away. He read the whole thing, but he didn't make a comment. In one day the boy heard me discussing his anxiety with a doctor, learned Santa wasn't real and saw proof that his parents had lied to him for 7.5 years. Jay asked if I was trying to finish him off.

This Santa thing has really bothered Jay and I. It was one of the last things of babyhood that Cade was holding on to and now it's gone. I know this is what kids are supposed to do, but it makes both of us so sad to see it happen. It's probably good for Jay and I that this year Christmas was going to be a little different anyway. Maybe it will take the sting out of it somewhat. I'll post more on our Christmas plans later.



Charity said...

Please don't let Cade tell Avery there is no Santa!

Jay said...

We have already taken care of that.