I did something terrible tonight.
Yes, even more terrible than not blogging for a month. Oh, sure you laugh. But I am serious! I have done the worst thing a mother can do. I have taken a sweet, innocent child and turned him into a corrupt gangster.
Here's how it all went down:
Elliot and I were driving home from his InterAction Theatre class. It was just the two of us in the car, and we were enjoying this rare moment of one-on-one time. Ever since the snowstorm on Sunday, my kids have been obsessed with Christmas, and have spent the past few mornings poring over catalogues and commercials coming up with this year's Christmas list. So, it was no surprise to me when Elliot began sharing some of his thoughts on the best Christmas presents this year.
"Can I ask Santa Claus for a dirt bike?"
"It's too much money, and Santa does not bring large presents like that."
You see where this is going don't you?
"Mom, who really buys the presents? Is Santa real?"
Being the experienced parent I am and having gone through this with Zoe only three years prior, I didn't even flinch.
"What do you think, Elliot?"
"I think you buy the toys. Am I right?"
"Yes you are, Elliot."
Then there was silence. I had not expected this. Zoe was elated to finally be granted access to the realm of adulthood and all of its secrets, but poor Elliot looked like he was going to throw up.
"Are you okay, Elliot?"
"Why did you tell me this! What were you thinking? No, I am not okay! You have destroyed my life!"
And there he sat trying to put the pieces of his life back together.
I was crushed. In a brief moment of insanity, I forgot that not all kids are alike, and just because Zoe was ready for this information at 10, does not mean Elliot was ready.
"But, you asked. I thought you knew. I'm sorry, Elliot."
"The next thing you are going to tell me is there is no Easter Bunny . . . . . . . . . . . wait . . . . . . . are you serious? So, basically, any body who "visits" on the holidays is a lie?"
and so on and so on.
As we pulled up to the house, he refused to get out of the car because he didn't know if he could face Avery. He began to stress over the fact that he now had to keep this secret.
"I need some time, Mom. You can't just spring this on me a couple of minutes before we get home."
So, we sat in the car . . .
and sat and sat.
Finally, he decided to go in and talk to Mr. Level-Headed. As he passed through the door, with his head down and a look of utter despair on his face, he whispered to me:
"I don't think I can go on living anymore."
What is a parent to say?
Tears sprang to my eyes, and I wished with all my heart that I could go back in time. Back when my boy was still a little boy. Back when life was magical for him. Back when a jolly man dressed in red would make his wishes come true for one day of the year. Back just twenty minutes ago!!
But I can't, and neither can Elliot.
After I tucked him into bed and kissed him goodnight, Elliot peeked down over the bar on his top bunk, and gestured for me to come back. My heart stopped. I had been beating myself up all evening over my mistake and didn't think I could take any more reminders of how I had destroyed his life.
"What is it, Love?"
And with his infamous devilish grin, Elliot whispered:
"I now know your weakness", as he pointed to Avery.
And there you have it . . . the evolution of a blackmailer!
I am in so much trouble.