Friday, September 26, 2008

Simple and Slow Fridays - Enchantment

*Please note that I give away some of Santa's secrets in this post, so don't let young eyes peer over your shoulder... ;)

This is actually a post I am struggling with and I'm not sure why.

As a young child I had curiosities of mystical, magical beings. I believed in Santa Clause until the 1st grade when a friend told me the truth. I suppose I eventually put it all together about the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny shortly after that, but I don't really remember when it happened. I collected unicorns and had hopes that there really was one out there somewhere. I wished on stars and wondered about fairies and fantasy.

Even as I grew older and knew these "beings" to be pretend, there was still the hope for the possibility of them being real. Is this wonder and hope something children just naturally have?

Looking back I don't think my parents "pushed" the idea of enchantment; I would say it was encouraged, though. We left cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer and searched for baskets hidden by the Easter bunny until we were well into our teens and knew the truth. We believed it was the Tooth Fairy that took our baby teeth from the tiny shot-glass filled with water that we left on the window sill (yes, seriously...not under the pillow at my house). We'd wake up to a shot-glass full of water and coins. It was grand. We definitely had our fun traditions and enchanting moments. I wonder if I'm making those moments for my boys?

Will (age 6) has asked several times if Santa is "really real". Somehow I just work my way out of the conversation. I'm not ready for him to lose that wonder, but his little brain is catching on quickly:

"Mom, who really leaves money behind for a baby tooth? Fairies aren't real, so there isn't a Tooth Fairy. Who really leaves the money?" {He hasn't even lost a tooth yet!}

"If magic isn't real then how is Santa real?"

We've had some times where he's been scared by something "magical" on cartoons and had to explain that magic is just pretend. He's in that stage of trying to grasp the concepts of real and not real. Enchantment is a hard thing to balance in between those two ideas.

I had a friend whose little girl (then about 6 years old) asked:

" How is it that Santa is not real, but we can go to the mall to see him and Jesus is real, but we can't see him?"

Talk about confusing.

I'm not really sure how I want to handle the whole enchanting/mystical/magical realm with my boys. I go back and forth because I have fond memories of believing from my childhood, but Will is a very literal child and I don't want to confuse him. (I know I'm writing a lot about Will and not the other two boys, but that's because he's at the age of trying to make sense of it all.)

I'm still riding the line on enchantment - not knowing which side to follow.

What do you do? How do you handle enchantment and the idea of magic at your house? Leave me some insight in the comments... please! :)

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Nowheymama said...

Do you read Beck's blog, Frog and Toad are Still Friends? She is the Queen of topics like this.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Interesting thoughts. I am going to read Beck's blog as suggested by the previous commentor.

We don't do anything with Santa and the Easter Bunny, etc. But I find that is not where the true enchantment lies. Those are dictated enchantments...the most magical ones are the ones we create as we play. At least that is what I find.

Gotta read that tonight!

Becky @ Boys Rule My Life said...

Nowheymama ~ Thanks I'll go check her out!

Mary ~ I totally agree with everything you said! I certainly hope I didn't come across as thinking that's the only place to find enchantment... it's just been on my mind lately with all the questions from Will. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Sadie said...

I collect fairies, my boys love dragons and such. My older one ask if they are real. I am not one to give definate NOs on things like that. Who really knows for SURE?

We do Santa, Easter Bunny, and the tooth fairy will visit tonight :) I go back and forth...I read articles about lying to your children...but I loved the magicalness of Chiristmas as a was lost when I was a teen and now it is back with my kids. When asked I turn it around on them "Is Santa real?"..."Do you think he is?" they say yes and that is it.
I remember realizing Santa wasn't real when I was around was never brought dad wrote from Santa on presents up until we were out of the house. Its the spirit of giving without any recogonition. Purely for the joy of making someone else feel happy and loved.

blessedwith5 said...

We do Santa, but we also try to teach the true meaning of Christmas. My kids like to watch things like Ben 10 and of course we have allowed them to watch Disney programs that have "magic" bibity bobity boo!

I would let them participate in Santa and the others. As they grow make it a point to teach them the "true" reason that we celebrate the holidays and what each one means.

I hope that makes sense - no off to read Beck's blog - never have been to that one yet.