... but he still believes.
My little guy R ("Jiji") is 9, and sometime last year he seemed to have figured out that the tooth fairy, Easter bunny and Santa Claus were not real. It seemed to happen quite naturally, and about the same age that our big son K ("Dio") figured it out, so everything seemed normal.
So, we were very surprised this Christmas to find that Jiji is now making a conscious effort to "believe in Santa". He seems to be going to some effort to preserve this belief, and he chooses to overlook evidence to the contrary.
He complains if Dio goes on too much about how "Santa isn't real, you know." He says, "Dio doesn't believe in Santa, but I do, and I'm right, aren't I." Last night (Xmas Eve) he was very excited, and told Dio several times, "If you wake up during the night and Santa is there, be sure to wake me up!!".. He also left out milk for Rudolph and Coke and cookies for Santa. Also a large bowl coated with leftover frosting from the Christmas cake we were making (a Japanese Xmas activity). With these things was a note written in his best cursive (I have been teaching him cursive this year):
here is some yumy cookies and cola.
oh and some frosting.
don't get sick!
He was so happy to see that these snacks were gone in the morning, and Santa had left a thank you note. He enjoyed opening his stocking, and getting several Twix, mini-Toblerones, and a mikan (mandarin orange). But in the late afternoon, in the kitchen, he came across the original larger bags which held the Twix and mini-Toblerones -- open, and about half empty. "Oh, so you guys are the ones who put the Twix in my stocking." Me: "Oh, why do you say that?" R: "Datte, the bags are here." Me: "Oh... ... well, those are just the leftovers that Santa left with us." R: "Ah -- so nanda!" (Oh, I see!)
After a few seconds' pause he then said to his brother, "It must be nice for Mommy that one of her children still believes in Santa Claus. ... You should believe in Santa, too."
By the way, here is the result of our Christmas-cake-making. Instead of strawberries (expensive!) we made snowmen for the top, as seen on A Tale of Three Beans (well, our snowman aren't as well-made as theirs, but anyway, it was fun!). Those red berries you see are a handful of raspberries from a bag of frozen raspberries I got at half-price a while back.