Anna Easter 2006
It finally happened. 
A couple of days after Christmas my Anna caught on.  While sitting in her bed with tears in her
eyes, she asked me the question parents dread, “Santa isn’t real, is he?”  I took a deep breath and replied “No, he
isn’t.”  And just like that, the magic
disappeared. 

I am writing about it now, just days before Easter, because
this will be the first Easter that my eldest daughter will no longer believe
that the Easter Bunny came in the night and hid brightly colored eggs in the
yard and left sweet treats in her Easter basket.  As I look back at this picture of my sweet
little girl from Easter 7 years ago, my heart is aching.

When Anna and I had that talk ago tucked in her bed on a
wintery night, it marked for me one of the courageous conversations we must
have in life.  I was direct, honest, and
compassionate as I dismantled the magic of childhood beliefs for my daughter.  Anna, in all of her eight years of wisdom, said
to me as I was leaving her room, “Thank you for being honest with me Mom.  I am glad I wasn’t alone when I found
out.”  I went downstairs and wept.

I was reminded in that moment of the basic needs we all have
in moments of growth.  We want the
truth.  We do not want to be alone.  We need to be surrounded by compassion while
letting go.  When divorce happens, the
magic of marriage disappears.  Much like
learning that Santa does not exist, we taste the bitterness of our beliefs
disappearing, grieve lost dreams, and wish with all our might that we could go
back to the time before facing this new reality.

Anna continued to be my teacher last night as she winked at
me over her little sister’s head while excitedly talking to Sophia about the
Easter Bunny coming.  She reminded me
that after every disappointment we face – we heal.  We move on. 
We find acceptance.  And we surely
find new delights in our growth over time. 

Angela Dunne

 What lessons have you
learned from your disappointments? 

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