Getting Ready - Livin' the Good Life
Apr. 13th, 2011
12:54 pm - Getting Ready
Fairy Day is almost here, and, as usual, I'm having a wonderful time preparing for this whimsical event!
Last year, some of the moms questioned me about the wisdom of suggesting to our children that fairies exist. Kind of like the Santa Claus question. Aren't we lying? Won't our children not trust us when they find out we are pretending?
I think not. Children are the champions of pretending and play. They love it and it's natural to them. A big chunk of their everyday world happens as an outgrowth of their imaginations. There is no reason to say to them when they are in the middle of playing house or enacting a battle or playing superheroes that can fly, "Now, you are just pretending, right? You don't really think you are a mom or a soldier or a person with superpowers, do you?" What a DOWNER that would be! And how ridiculous! Imagining themselves to be other people doing things they probably can't do as children helps them work on all kinds of things, like how to nurture someone, be a future mother or father or husband or wife. They can imagine how to be courageous and stand up for what they believe is right. They can practise handling pretend pain. They can try on all kinds of roles that they can't yet in real life. They can practise standing up to bullies. They can see what being mean feels like without actually hurting anyone. They can try on being the tough teacher or the naughty student. Play is a great healer, because it enables children to work through whatever is bothering them in a safe and harmless way. Pretending there are fairies might even be the beginning seeds of a child's spiritual beliefs or future religious life. To me, there is not a huge stretch between fairies and angels!
Another benefit: Imagining that there are fairies, or could be fairies, allows a belief in the unseen. Just because we never see a fairy, does that mean there aren't any? And by projection, just because we don't see God, does that mean there isn't any God? (Just because we don't see spontaneous healings of the body, does that mean they can't happen?) My personal belief is that there are all kinds of things we don't, and can't, understand. And fairies fall in that catagory. How do we know for sure that there is not another realm that our physical eyes cannot see, but if we could put on a stronger pair of glasses we COULD see it. Children easily adopt this "magical" way of thinking. It's natural to them.
So either way, if we are just good old-fashioned pretending, or we're merely sharing our belief in the unseen, I think Fairy Day is a harmless and fun way to celebrate something important with our children. That's why I do it.