Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘fairies’

Of lies and truths and fairy tales

Honesty is the key to successI recently discussed the value and importance of integrity in dealing with our children. Well, this week we were addressing how to take the moral high road when dealing with other children in situations that seem to us to be unfair. Myu poor darlings, terrified of some fiery, dragonish retort at what an adult might perceive to be childish pettiness, were reluctant to volunteer their ideas on ways to turn the situation around and treat everyone fairly. I encouraged them to be honest and promised to listen to their concerns impartially.

It worked extremely well. They opened up and shared their fears and concerns, as well as some really good ideas for working together in harmony. We laughed and joked and connected. I was delighted.

Of course, my children will never cease to catch me off guard. Once we’d addressed the issues at hand, Goldilocks looked at me very seriously and said, “Mom, please can the same apply to you.”

I was confused. By this stage, we’d moved far from the topic of open sharing, and I didn’t know what the “same” thing was that was supposed to apply to me.

“Honesty,” she answered simply.

“I’m always honest with you! I make an effort to be as open and clear on every subject – as far as is appropriate.”

She looked at me with scathing cynicism, and uttered a single word: “Fairies?”


So I came clean. I explained my views (which took some time) and encouraged them to develop a rich imagination while still understanding the line between fantasy and reality. And I admonished them sternly NOT to tell DeeDee and Dexter – or anyone else their age!

Much later I realised the value of having cleared all that up. “Girls,” I called. “Now that you know the truth, do I still have to give you money when you lose your teeth?”

“Of course not,” they sang out sweetly in chorus.

Then Red Riding Hood, with her piercing (and domestic-focused) mind, asked, “Mom, what do you do with the teeth when you take them out from under the pillow?” (There was a horror-laden pause as she weighed the options). “Do you – *gasp* – throw them away?”

“Well …” I began.

“Yes, you do,” she said pragmatically. “‘Cos otherwise that’d just be GRIM.”

Don't lie to your kids.

Don’t lie to your kids.


They grow up so fast.

My oldest daughter today made it official that she no longer believes in fairies. She called a private meeting with me – I even received a formally written invitation (“Meeting Mommy”) so that her sister wouldn’t hear. My darling daughter has a plan to keep her younger sister’s “faith” alive through a complicated series of device strung around the garden, involving lights and bells and cinnamon smells.

When I questioned her about this turn of events, her response was:

“I mean, if God already made something in His image, why would he go and make something else, beautiful, yes, but half HIS image and half, like, bug. It doesn’t really make sense.”

She also no longer believes in mermaids:

“Well, the problem with mermaids is that – ok, are they vertebrates or invertebrates? They can’t be both, and they kind of are. So I don’t think they actually exist.”

I neglected to point out that fish are vertebrates. I think she was going for mammal vs. non-mammal, but I can’t be sure. It was just too cute to correct.

I love the sweet simplicity of it all. I knew this day would come eventually, but I’ve never pressed the issue, for two reasons:

  1. I love the sweetness of it and believe that fantasy and imagination are hallmarks of a healthy childhood; and
  2. I didn’t want her sister’s childhood to end too soon, and suspected that she would let on if she found out.
I’m a little sad that she’s such a big girl already!

(Of course, unicorns DID exist, but were hunted o extinction for the supposedly magical properties of their horns. As we all know).

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