A friend recounts a different version of the moment of truth.
They were seated at the dinner table when her daughter asked, "Mom, is Santa real?"
"What makes you think he isn't real?"
"Mom . . . we saw four Santas yesterday," she replied.
"Do you think he's real?"
"I don't know. But I know you do," her daughter said.
And you won't lie to me . . . coursed through my friend's mind.
The moment of truth had arrived at her home, as well.
"Claire," my friend said. "I'm Santa."
Claire chewed and swallowed. She scooped up another spoonful, but held it aloft as she spoke.
"Does that mean if there's no Santa, there are no elves?"
My friend said nothing. Her daughter put down her spoon.
"And I suppose you're the tooth fairy, too."
Their eyes met briefly before Claire propped her elbows on the table and placed her hands over her eyes. Her shoulders began to shake.
"Oh my God," she wailed, 'THE EASTER BUNNY!"