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Children's Lit ~ Judy Blume, "Super Fudge"
September 24, 2008 | incredulous joe

Posted on 09/24/2008 5:57:23 PM PDT by incredulous joe

My son is in forth grade and his class has been assigned a book by children's author Judy Blume.

The teacher, who is has several years teaching experience, but is in her first year at our school (a private Christian School), has prefaced her overview of the book and project to follow by stating that their is a 'spoiler' in the novel; essentially the book reveals the true nature of Santa Claus.

His teacher has gone to some pains to express to parents that the children wil not have an opportunity to find this out? I'm not exactly certain how she intends to cover this.

My son still believes in Santa and my wife and I would like to see if we can get another year of this for our boy. It all goes by so fast!

Our boy also devours books like bon-bons. He reads several grades over his head. If the book is put in front of him he will read it all the way through. I am not certain what the teacher's plan for avoiding the disclosure is, but if it were me in the class I would play it safe by making certain that they simply DO NOT read such a book.

I'd like to be loaded for bear when I discuss the issue with the teacher. From what I have heard about Judy Blume, I can tell you that I am not a particular fan, but I do not know that much and have only skimmed some of the author's work. It seems to me that there is so much great children's literature out there ~ why get caught up with a problem like this?

I have not got a copy of this book. Can somebody tell me about "Super Fudge" by Judy Blume and the Santa Claus disclosure?

Maybe I'm making something more of it than I should, nut I'd rather be certain.


TOPICS: Books/Literature; Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: education; judyblume; kidslit
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1 posted on 09/24/2008 5:57:30 PM PDT by incredulous joe
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To: incredulous joe
I'm not married and so I don't have kids yet, but... if your son is in the fourth grade, I think he probably knows SC isn't real.

And if he doesn't, you'd better tell him now because you seriously don't want him to be the last one on the playground to find out. That wouldn't be pretty :-p

2 posted on 09/24/2008 6:06:55 PM PDT by NMR Guy
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To: incredulous joe

A 9 year old that devours books above his grade level probably already has a very strong suspicion that Santa Claus doesn’t exist.

BTW, don’t let him watch the second season of cartoon version of “The Tick”, it will spoil it for him as well.


3 posted on 09/24/2008 6:07:42 PM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: incredulous joe
this is an intentional act and should be brought to the school principals attention... that's a book for children who ALREADY KNOW there is no Claus, NOT those that don't.
4 posted on 09/24/2008 6:08:50 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - McCain/Palin'08 = http://www.johnmccain.com/)
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To: incredulous joe

If your son devours books, he may wish to read other books by a particular author. In Judy Blume’s case, this would lead to books like Wifey and Forever, which can be described as “erotica/porn for pre-teens.” You should steer your son clear of Judy Blume.


5 posted on 09/24/2008 6:10:41 PM PDT by NewJerseyJoe (Rat mantra: "Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!")
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To: incredulous joe

at a certain point a child will understand that you have lied about SC and they will lose their trust in you.....4th grade seems too old to still believe......you are at risk....I read all Blume’s books to my two boys, been years though...they were very funny and my boys loved them


6 posted on 09/24/2008 6:11:27 PM PDT by tioga (Bring on the debates! While Obama wows the media, McCain will win over Americans.)
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To: incredulous joe
You are making way more of this. There is nothing wrong with this book. I read it myself when I was in grade school. This series of books is fun reading and nothing wrong with kids reading them. I agree with the others about Santa Claus. If your kid doesn't know about Santa Claus already you should be telling him before one of his friends does.
7 posted on 09/24/2008 6:12:34 PM PDT by FloridianBushFan
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To: NewJerseyJoe

has she written books like that? shame on her


8 posted on 09/24/2008 6:12:36 PM PDT by tioga (Bring on the debates! While Obama wows the media, McCain will win over Americans.)
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius
A 9 year old that devours books above his grade level probably already has a very strong suspicion that Santa Claus doesn’t exist.

And a 9 year old who clings to a belief in Santa Claus while his other classmates know differently is just asking for years of ridicule.
9 posted on 09/24/2008 6:13:24 PM PDT by July 4th
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To: incredulous joe
What???? No Santa????

Seriously, I loved Tales of the Forth Grade Nothing and Superfudge.

If he reads as much as you say, then he's going to figure it out pretty quick. I would agree that there are several Blume books that I think are targeting kids not ready for certain info (Are you there God, It's me Margret) but the Fudge books are pretty safe.

10 posted on 09/24/2008 6:14:30 PM PDT by txroadkill (Sarah Palin-- Vote for her?!? Hell, I want to marry her!)
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To: incredulous joe

“I have not got a copy of this book. Can somebody tell me about “Super Fudge” by Judy Blume and the Santa Claus disclosure?”

It’s been a long time since I read that book (late 1970s), but here is the gist of the Santa issue.

-Peter (the main character) is the older brother of the Fudge, who is about five or six in this story (Superfudge is the second of several novels about Peter).

-Peter’s in 5th grade now, and doesn’t believe anymore. Fudge, who is a handful to begin with, drives his older brother crazy by endless talking about what Santa is going to bring him.

-Near the very end of the book, on or about Christmas Day, Fudge makes a startling revelation to Peter and admits he only pretends to believe in order to make his parents happy.


11 posted on 09/24/2008 6:17:42 PM PDT by DemforBush (Palin! Palin! Palin!)
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To: incredulous joe
He probably knows, but if he doesn't, it's cuz he doesn't want to know. The book won't change his beliefs.

I thought my middle son knew & was going to spoil it for his little brother, so I told him. You'd think he still believed for several years after that, even after his younger brother knew. He always loved playing make believe, so it was a fun time for him when he had the adults playing along.

BTW, I figured it out with my brother's help when I was 3, but we pretended to believe for a few years, cuz we didn't want the Santa presents to stop.

12 posted on 09/24/2008 6:17:53 PM PDT by GoLightly
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To: incredulous joe

Just to soften the blow a little bit, most kids don’t “find out” that Santa doesn’t exist, they just kind of figure it out. I certainly don’t remember any shock moment, just one Christmas “Santa” was the magic, and the next “presents” left by “Santa” *wink, wink* was the magic.


13 posted on 09/24/2008 6:18:24 PM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius

I discovered it at a young age after noticing that “Santa” had identical handwriting to my mother...


14 posted on 09/24/2008 6:22:51 PM PDT by stefanbatory (Palin/Cleese '12)
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To: DemforBush

Btw, I really enjoyed Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing (the first in the series) and Superfudge. Very funny stuff.

I couldn’t comment on her later books, though. I’d moved on to stuff like Starship Troopers by 5th grade. :-)


15 posted on 09/24/2008 6:23:51 PM PDT by DemforBush (Palin! Palin! Palin!)
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To: NMR Guy

Agree with the others. Superfudge is fine. Even if your son does believe in Santa at this age (he may not, some children hide the fact that they “know” from their parents), I can’t imagine him entering 5th grade still believing.


16 posted on 09/24/2008 6:24:36 PM PDT by richmwill
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To: stefanbatory

Growing up as a military brat I had very few disadvantages. One of those few was that the families in our housing block switch tags for all the kids presents to avoid exactly that.

My mom told me about that trick they all used when I was a teenager.


17 posted on 09/24/2008 6:26:11 PM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: DemforBush
Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing and Superfudge....this thread sure does take me back...
18 posted on 09/24/2008 6:27:53 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater (How 'bout a magic trick? I'm gonna make this pencil disappear...Ta-dah!)
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To: incredulous joe
Wait!!!!! Don't go telling your son there is no Santa.

At nine he probably already knows the truth but once you tell him the magic is over. Christmas is a family event and as long as you're willing to pretend then so will your son (while he is at home with his family), once you confront that neither of you can pretend anymore. So long as pretending is fun for you and for your son let it go. He'll get to tell his friends that he knows but his parents don't know that he knows and you get to pretend that he doesn't and you will both be happier for it. 

You know your son better than anyone else in the world, if he ask and you can tell he expects a truthful answer then give it to him, if he doesn't, don't ruin it.

I really don't believe that any child will resent you for "lying" about Santa, once they know the truth they see the fun in it. 

The book is fine, but don't make an issue about Santa unless he asks and you know he wants the truth.

19 posted on 09/24/2008 6:32:38 PM PDT by txroadkill (Sarah Palin-- Vote for her?!? Hell, I want to marry her!)
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To: NMR Guy
We've chosen a school were things are not quite as they are in the public schools. Our friends and our childrens’ friends are of a similar mind.

I can assure you that many of the other children in the class are innocent in their belief in Santa Claus, as well, and I'm not the only parent with this concern.

Children in the class who may not believe may probably be instructed not to unravel this part of childhood for others, but you know how that goes.

I suspect that my son may realize that Santa is really the work and love of his parents, but I'm not sure? Regardless, I'd rather the truth be revealed by myself, rather than by the teacher.

20 posted on 09/24/2008 6:41:33 PM PDT by incredulous joe
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius

We don’t have TV in our home.


21 posted on 09/24/2008 6:42:12 PM PDT by incredulous joe
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To: NewJerseyJoe; incredulous joe
Her children's books are not the same as Wifey and Forever. It probably would've been a better decision for her to write those books under a pen name after her success as a children's author, but nom de plumes mean nothing in this age.

Adult experiences are different than childhood experiences. If incredulous joe's son devours books, at some point he's going to read Ulysses or Tropic of Cancer or (God forbid) Lolita. Those books aren't suitable for children. But an adult can read whatever he or she wants to read in a free society.

22 posted on 09/24/2008 6:43:34 PM PDT by Paul Heinzman (McCain / Palin '08. Write-ins and protest votes won't help America.)
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To: incredulous joe

What kind of books does your son have access to?


23 posted on 09/24/2008 6:44:31 PM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: NewJerseyJoe

This is the kind of stuff that I have heard.

There are so many great books to read ~ why invite trouble. Why start your kids up as first time buyer for an author who’s body of work for older children guides them in realms that should be the sole responsibility of the parent?


24 posted on 09/24/2008 6:46:00 PM PDT by incredulous joe
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To: tioga

“at a certain point a child will understand that you have lied about SC”

I don’t believe that. I never felt that way about my parents at all. I was told in the 4th grade on Christmas Eve.

I have a buddy whos wife, a bubblehead, told all of his kids the straight dope from the word go ~ they have never had Santa Claus among their 3 children, now age 4, 7 and 9.

What a shame!


25 posted on 09/24/2008 6:54:23 PM PDT by incredulous joe
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To: incredulous joe
I told my mom I believed in Santa until I was 16. She played along. It was bribery, of course, but whatever thread of childhood you can maintain between you and him, is a precious thread.

A few years ago, Santa brought my youngest kid a thing called a "Stomp Rocket" which was this plastic bladder connected by a tube to a launch pad that you would put the projectile onto.

When he stomped on the plastic bladder, the air pressure would launch the rocket about 40 feet in the air.

We played with that thing for a while, and on the way back home he told me "this was my best day ever."

I remember every day he told me it was his best day ever.

He still told me he believed in Santa Clause. I knew he didn't. It's infinitely more important that he believes in Jesus Christ.

26 posted on 09/24/2008 6:57:03 PM PDT by Paul Heinzman (McCain / Palin '08. Write-ins and protest votes won't help America.)
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To: richmwill

I used to teach in a small private Catholic school.

6 out of 7 of my homeroom 6th graders believed.

The one respected the fact that he would not disclose to the others.

In the 7th grade of this school, only one or two of the girls believed. Again, the other students did not make fun of the girls or disclose the truth.


27 posted on 09/24/2008 6:58:03 PM PDT by incredulous joe
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To: incredulous joe
There are so many great books to read ~ why invite trouble. Why start your kids up as first time buyer for an author who’s body of work for older children guides them in realms that should be the sole responsibility of the parent?

My personal opinion is that you're overreacting. That said, he's your kid and it's your right to raise him as you wish. I'm a reader and there is NO WAY I would skip a part of any book I was enjoying, especially if I were told to skip it. So, I think you need to either settle this issue with your son before he reads, resign yourself to a discussion after he reads it, or remove him from reading that particular book.

BTW, if not for Judy Blume, I would have known nearly nothing about puberty. It wasn't my parents most comfortable subject. The books are well written and serve a good purpose for many kids. It was the public librarian who should have had a complete fit when I checked Wifey out of the library in 8th grade.

28 posted on 09/24/2008 7:05:54 PM PDT by Dianna
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To: incredulous joe

Teens believing in Santa Claus?


29 posted on 09/24/2008 7:06:19 PM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius

He’ll read anything of military history, especially the Civil War (we live a 45 minute drive to Gettysburg and a half hour from Harpers Ferry, WV). This summer he settled into “Grant comes East” by Newt Gingrich. I told him it was abit over his head and he just kept reading. I don’t think that he took it in.

Redwall, Scott O’Dell, Stephen Ambrose wrote a book for youngsters called “The Good Fight” about WWII. I think that my boy is about ready for “The Red Badge of Courage”.


30 posted on 09/24/2008 7:09:08 PM PDT by incredulous joe
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius

I know. I didn’t believe it myself and nearly blew it with the seventh graders one day. A couple of the kids gave me “the eye” and pointed to one of my sweethearts in the class and mouthed the words “She still believes!”

I made a quick recovery.

I can’t say that I think that it is necessarily a good thing for middle schoolers, but it’s precvcious that the kids were looking out for and were genuinely concerned about the innocents.


31 posted on 09/24/2008 7:12:36 PM PDT by incredulous joe
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To: incredulous joe
I have a serious book recommendation for you. I mean this in all openness and good intent.

Please get and read

Ender's Game

by Orson Scott Card

I think it will stun you, not because of the story (which you may or may not like), but because the main character is 8 when the story starts.

Definitely not suggesting it for your son.

32 posted on 09/24/2008 7:14:38 PM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: incredulous joe

are you sure that your son really does believe in Santa? i know that children sometimes play along for their parents’ sakes...


33 posted on 09/24/2008 7:15:52 PM PDT by latina4dubya (self-proclaimed tequila snob)
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To: NewJerseyJoe
You should steer your son clear of Judy Blume.

as an adult, i'm not a Judy Blume fan... however, i did read several of her books when i was a youngster... Blubber, Freckle Juice, Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, Starring Sally J. Friedman as Herself and Iggie's House... my son has read two of my old, tattered books that were about 30-years old--Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great and Freckle Juice... he has no clue that Forever and Wifey exist... we do homeschool, so i have a good idea what he's exposed to... i also think that girls are more likely than boys to read those adult Judy Blume books... i consider children's books like the ones by Judy Blume, "drivel," or, "twaddle."

34 posted on 09/24/2008 7:24:30 PM PDT by latina4dubya (self-proclaimed tequila snob)
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To: incredulous joe
Why would you want your Private Christian school to help your kid believe in santa clause? Don't you send them there so the won't believe stuff like this?
35 posted on 09/24/2008 7:33:31 PM PDT by ThomasThomas (Real change actually changes something.)
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To: ThomasThomas

Because Nicholas of Myra is a real champion of the early Church and not only fought against Arianism, but actually hit Arius personally.

The story of his generosity and the subsequent legends that grew up surrounding Saint Nicholas teach children important lessons about being good, about having someone watch out for them, and about the magic of anticipation.

Anticipation in particular is a lesson sorely missing from out instant gratification society.

A child without fantasy and legend to get giddy about; without imagination and unbridled realms that their mind can run in, grow up to be very dour and serious, to the point of silliness, adults.

Paul said, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought as a child, I reasoned like a child.”

He didn’t condemn childishness in children.


36 posted on 09/24/2008 7:42:34 PM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius

I’ll look into it. I’ve got a stack now! Is that a recently published book? I think I just seen Mrs Joe about the house with that in recent weeks.

I have great input and response from FReeps on books and books for kids.

By the way, if you have little ones, or if you like it yourself, we are in the middle of a read called “George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War” by Thomas Allen.

It’s kind of the National Treasurized version of a GW book. Many stories you have probably already heard, but placed all together in the same work.

I’ll look for Ender’s Game and let you know what I think, but it will probably be after Christmas.


37 posted on 09/24/2008 7:44:37 PM PDT by incredulous joe
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To: incredulous joe

Ender’s Game came out in 1982, I believe.


38 posted on 09/24/2008 7:48:28 PM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: latina4dubya

I’m not certain. He’s not a scoffer, but he could be hedging his bets.

He loves doing presents for baby Jesus, milk and cookies for Santa and we throw corn out on the lawn for the reindeer. But it seems to me that he may derive the same pleasure in pretending for his little sister that Mrs. Joe and I get from doing the whole Santa thing for the both ot them.

I figure he may be on the cusp and if he does’t know, he probably will after this year. Some of the other parents in the class are equally concerned.

Mostly, Id on’t think it’s this teacher’s place to spring something like this on my kid. It would seem to be to be poor judgement? There are enough landmines teaching people’s children without looking for trouble.

We


39 posted on 09/24/2008 7:51:21 PM PDT by incredulous joe
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To: ThomasThomas

“Don’t you send them there so the won’t believe stuff like this?”

No.

I think I know where your coming from. I don’t suspect that we are going to agree on very much on this line of questioning.


40 posted on 09/24/2008 7:54:33 PM PDT by incredulous joe
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius

Hmm, I’m not a tremendous sci-fi fan, but it looks interesting. I always try to stretch myself. I’ll give it a go.


41 posted on 09/24/2008 7:59:48 PM PDT by incredulous joe
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To: incredulous joe
Side note. Just a fun story. My mother taught in a Christian school in Louisiana near New Orleans. I think she teaching 6th grade at the time. It was about the year 1983 and it snowed in parts of New Orleans. It happens every hundred years or so. One of the girls in her class was shocked at seeing snow because she had learned Santa Clause wasn't real and she thought that snow was part of the story and not real also.
42 posted on 09/24/2008 8:16:52 PM PDT by ThomasThomas (Real change actually changes something.)
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To: ThomasThomas

Papa Noel in de cajun!

I don’t doubt that peopel from the south have difficulty accepting the premise.

Similarly, people in Maryland freak out when snow is reported ~ and we see it pretty frequently. These days schools are canceled if snow is simply in the forecast.


43 posted on 09/24/2008 8:25:14 PM PDT by incredulous joe
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To: incredulous joe

My son still believes in Santa and my wife and I would like to see if we can get another year of this for our boy.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Fourth grade is entirely too old to still be believing in Santa Claus.

When he does find out, on some level, he will feel that his parents tricked him, lied to him, and **used** his innocence to further their own emotional needs.


44 posted on 09/24/2008 8:34:50 PM PDT by wintertime (Good ideas win! Why? Because people are NOT stupid)
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To: wintertime
When he does find out, on some level, he will feel that his parents tricked him, lied to him, and **used** his innocence to further their own emotional needs.

no he won't...

45 posted on 09/24/2008 8:36:24 PM PDT by latina4dubya (self-proclaimed tequila snob)
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To: incredulous joe
Well!...A person can learn something new every day. I would have never guessed that 6th graders could still believe in Santa Claus.

My kids were homeschooled, and from the time they were infants we never promoted the Santa Claus myth. Our children though still believed in him. One day after telling my daughter that Santa was pretend she **insisted**, “Yes! He is real!” When I asked her how she knew this she said, “Allen told me!” ( Allen was also 4.)

The following Christmas season my daughter found wrapped presents in our bedroom closet. She stood in the hall, arms akimbo, and declared, “Mom, you are **right**! There is no Santa Claus! You have **never** lied to me!”

This sentence, “You have never lied to me!” , became a family motto. When my husband and I seriously wanted to impress on them that we were giving them our best advice, with a wink of the eye, we would remind them that we never lied to them about Santa Claus or anything else.

46 posted on 09/24/2008 8:48:35 PM PDT by wintertime (Good ideas win! Why? Because people are NOT stupid)
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To: incredulous joe

If he’s smart, in the fourth grade, and a good reader—I’d bet that he already knows about Santa Claus. Now, it’s always possible that he’s trying to shelter you from that truth....


47 posted on 09/24/2008 10:05:08 PM PDT by Mariebl
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To: wintertime

“This sentence, “You have never lied to me!” , became a family motto. When my husband and I seriously wanted to impress on them that we were giving them our best advice, with a wink of the eye, we would remind them that we never lied to them about Santa Claus or anything else.”

I’ve heard this attitude promoted before. I think that’s fine if some folks choose to raise their children this way. Personally, I think it’s ridiculous that anyone would consider Santa Claus to be a “lie”. That is just so to X-power for me!!

I’ve found that parents that are overly strident in this area of their childrens’ lives are often overly strident in others, as well, and I don’t believe that it’s particularly healthy.

Of course, the same could probably, and has probably been said about my wife and I. I’m certain that people think that we are weird because we either send our children to a religious school, or because we do not have TV or because our kids don’t have gameboys and DSs, as other children their age do. They don’t know it and they don’t miss it.

I’ve had this debate before ~ it goes in a circle and never meets in the middle. I’m sure the path you have chosen for your children is fine. As I am as certain that my children will not begin to question my honesty when they are older because I have “lied” to them and promoted the “myth” of Santa Claus.


48 posted on 09/25/2008 5:16:39 AM PDT by incredulous joe
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To: Mariebl

If he knows, I suspect that it has less to do with “protecting” me and more to do with the fact that he gets the same kick out of putting on the show for his little sister that I do.

I also expect that we will have a talk on the subject after this Christmas.


49 posted on 09/25/2008 5:19:01 AM PDT by incredulous joe
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To: wintertime

“When he does find out, on some level, he will feel that his parents tricked him, lied to him, and **used** his innocence to further their own emotional needs.”

All things in moderation, I say. I’m afraid that you and I are on completely different wavelengths.


50 posted on 09/25/2008 5:21:46 AM PDT by incredulous joe
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