Thursday, May 15, 2008

Have to Comment

Dear Margo answered a letter that appeared in her column on Yahoo! today. The letter was someone misreading a previous answer that she is wrong for encouraging parents to lie to their children about the existence of Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy, et al. First of all, I remember that letter and the belief of such beings was never part of the question.

I used to be one of those people. I used to say I would never teach my children to believe in those beings. I don't remember being devastated about finding out that Santa was really mom and dad; I think it was something that I just realized I knew. I was talking to Monty about this some time ago, and he told me a story that made me think.

He agreed about Santa, he was one of those kids who was crushed to find out it was all a fluke, but he had proof that there was a Tooth Fairy. His father passed away when he was young. One time, while Monty was staying with his father, he lost a tooth. His father told him to put it under his pillow for the Tooth Fairy and he did, knowing full well that his father had terrible palsy and his hands never stopped violently shaking. Monty was sure, and even expecting, that he would wake up when his dad tried to put something under his pillow because he could not stop from shaking. In the morning, Monty woke to find money and no tooth, and that he did not wake up in the night. Maybe there was some ethereal being making the switch, or maybe his dad was able to still his hands to please his son when it really mattered. There's something magical at work there.

Some time after Monty told me his tale, the question again came up, I think on an online forum. Someone was talking about how she does teach her children about Santa and the Tooth Fairy, et al. and she did that because it taught them to believe in magic. It teaches children to know there are unseen forces in the world who help them and do things for them. If nothing else, it teaches them how to have faith. Even if the illusion is broken down the way, if done right, no harm is done. Do you stop watching the trick just because you know how the magician does it? Some people might, but I still like to be entertained by it.

I've changed my opinion about the those beings. I don't have any children to teach, but if it did, they would know them. They would be exposed to the magic of the Tooth Fairy, and told to have faith in Santa Clause. I would want them to believe in magic.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

I agree with you for without wonder, belief & magic our world would be a sadder place.