“Boy, if you could have any video game on the planet, what would you get?” I asked the boy one night, after he turned out his lights for bed. “Who wants to know?” He asked. “Your Secret Santa…” I lied. I was in the middle of a purchase on Amazon and decided to add some fun into the children’s “Clothing Christmas” by including a video game for them both. The doll was easy to figure out–Just Dance 4 was all the rage! The boy however I had no clue. “Well Nintendo has a new Pokemon Black and White game out..” he began. “Don’t you already own those?” I asked. “No mom, these are sequels…” “Alright, I’ll tell them…” I said and exited his room.
Fast forward to the Christmas eve party and no secret Santa video game arrived. Quite frankly I had forgotten all about my little deceptive game and could not understand why the boy seemed so unhappy. “Marsha, is the boy getting some video game tomorrow?” My sister asked. “No…why?” “He’s upset. He’s sitting out in the front room upset that he didn’t receive some video game tonight”. “Huh.” I said. Wandering into the living room, sure enough, there he was sitting alone, looking upset. “Mama, is it okay if Dad and I go over to Grammy’s for a little while? This house is too noisy and I’m overwhelmed.”
A few years ago I would have fought him on this premise. Today, I’m very aware how chaotic my family is and considering we’re all kind of deaf…I’m sure we’re quite loud. “If your dad is ready to go, then sure…but you’ll miss the ‘White Elephant’ gift exchange…” I said, hoping that alone would allure him to stay. “No thank you.” he replied. A few minutes later both he and Dad were gone. By the time they returned two hours later, the party was winding down. The doll was finishing up her last dance (Just Dance 4 on Wii) with her cousins–though Elle spun off a controller, landed on a chair and fell asleep almost immediately. A short time later we were home…the kids in bed and me standing at the kitchen table wrapping presents in the wee hours of the morning.
As I pulled out the boy’s video game to wrap, the events of the night and my little deception all came back to me. “Damn.” I said as I began to wrap. “What’s up?” my hub asked concerned. “Well, as his mother I blew it again.” I replied. “What are you talking about?” “See this dumb game? I asked the boy what game he wanted, but under the guise of a “secret Santa” which explains why he was so bummed out tonight over at Dan’s”. “Well, he was bummed out. But listen he did have fun at Grammy’s playing cards with Great Gram. Besides, when he opens this in the morning, all will be forgiven.” “I know…” I replied. “I just wish he hadn’t been disappointed tonight”. I said sadly, more to myself than to him. “Well…I’m sure…” he began, “this will not be the last time we disappoint him…”
Postscript. He was very happy to receive the game from me and all was forgiven…then he received the other sequel from his Grandmother, which made him feel extra special. Everything worked out for him in the end and mom feels less guilty but learned an important lesson…always tell the truth or remember your lies or you’ll feel like crud.