I had the dreaded Santa talk with my daughter a couple of weeks ago. She looked me straight in the eyes and said "Mom, is Santa real or not?" I'd always skirted the question and issue pretty good but there was no avoiding it this time. I suspect in her heart she knew the truth but she wanted to hear me say it out loud. I told her the truth that day and she cried for hours. I think her tears were a mixture of sadness from the truth about Santa as well as the knowledge that I had somehow lied to her all those years. It was a difficult day. Trying to sooth her pain I told her that she was just getting older and that she wasn't a baby anymore and the truth about Santa was rather like a right of passage into getting older. She liked that idea and we were able to move on.
A funny story...a few days later she lost a tooth and was preparing her tooth for the tooth fairy to arrive that evening. At some point it occurred to her that perhaps the tooth fairy wasn't real either and she confronted me again. But this time she said "Mom the tooth fairy is still real, right?" with great optimism in her eyes. I could tell she wasn't ready to admit that she wasn't so I just said..."well I guess we'll have to see, huh?" She was happy with that. I guess the death of Santa was enough trauma for her for one month.
So Nina is born from my daughters pain of the truth about Santa, a sad but imminent day for every child.