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If these fairytales make kids happy , let it be

By unknown | Dec 04, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Tsale Makam

Tsale Makam

Christmas is around the corner. But thank goodness, this year I am free of expectations for gifts from the "Dear Santa" letter. Or creative excuses when the presents expected from Father Christmas turn out to be something different.

Last November, a boy at school (Khaya) prematurely told my daughter there was no such thing as Father Christmas. His father had told him that. My daughter was looking at me expectantly as she related the story. I was in a quandary, but decided that lying was out of the question. So I told her the truth.

Her eyes watered and she swallowed hard, fighting back tears. She obviously had hoped I would affirm her belief that there is a Father Christmas. I had let her down.

What kind of mother am I? I should've known such a revelation would be a blow to her. She was a second-grader. Pictures of fairies adorn her walls. She still puts her teeth in a shoe and squeals with delight that the tooth fairy gives her money.

I considered writing to Khaya's father and give him advice about letting our children be children for a while longer. I know there's no universal age limit at which all parents can tell their children the truth about such matters. But my take is, there's so much ugliness in the world, so if this fairytale and fantasy stuff makes them happy, why not?

Don't wrench their innocence away from them so soon. Don't let them put on make-up and high heels before they are even ten. Don't allow them to watch age-inappropriate movies. Don't buy them cellphones and ipods when they are supposed to be still catching snails and worms and baking mud cakes.

Still hurt and confused, my daughter throws me a curve ball. "And what about the Tooth Fairy? Is there such a thing?" My cellphone rings. I am saved by the bell . for now.


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