Last year, I posted about why I decided to stop telling my kids anything about the naughty list or that Santa is watching their every move. Santa is pervasive in our culture though and mentions of the naughty list and the nice list are around every corner. A couple weeks ago, we were driving in the car and the opportunity came up to move from passively leaving out the naughty list to actively explaining it to the kids themselves. Not surprisingly, this came up with Sedona. She is quite possibly the happiest, snuggliest kid in the world. She also has a really hard time sitting still and thinking ahead. If one of the little people in my house is in trouble, there's about a 75% chance it's Sedona (even though she's only 33% of the kids).
So we're in the car when Sedona starts talking about the nice list and the naughty list. Instead of ignoring the talk, I said, "you can't lose Christmas." She was genuinely shocked and baffled. I explained that Christmas is about love and they will always be loved, so they will always have Christmas. I did clarify that they weren't entitled to big expensive gifts, this was about celebrating the holiday. They won't get something they've shown they're not mature enough for and if money is tight, they may only get one small gift, but there will be a celebration, not coal in their stocking. Sierra, being a little older and having had more opportunity for one on one talks with me chimed in and backed me up, "yes, they'll ALWAYS love us, no matter what".
A few days later, Sedona wanted a snuggle, so I picked her up and held her like a baby for a little while. She said, "Momma, I really like snuggling." I told her I like snuggling with her too. She asked me, "and you'll always, always love me?" Yes, I assured her, always.
And then, earlier this week, she was walking through the living room (well, who am I kidding? Skipping/hopping/dancing through the living room) when she stopped and said, "you're gonna love me forever and ever no matter what." It wasn't a question anymore, but I still smiled and said, "yes, no matter what." Her whole little being just radiated joy and my heart melted.