The Year Of Hard Truths

In the next twelve months, my daughter's going to be learning about history from 1850 through the present. She's also going to learn that Santa Claus nor the Easter Bunny are real.

There's a tiny part of me that's afraid of what this will do to her.

Despite being alive on September 11, 2001, she has no idea of what happened that day. Going further in time, she has no real knowledge of assassinations, the Holocaust, or various deprivations of war. I can't help but imagine that all of this new knowledge will weigh upon her.

Given that, I suppose it's a bit cruel, on some level, to assault her with the truth about Santa Claus et al at the same time, but yet - she'll be nine years old in August. Many of her peers ceased to believe in Santa as much as two or three years ago now. If she still maintained a belief but seemed to be losing her dependence on it, I'd feel differently, I think. However, she instead clings to these fantasies, wrapping them ever tighter in imagined rationales and logic, pushing them into other parts of her life.

I want my children to have imagination, but I worry that she actually lives in the World of Make Believe. Correct as usual, King Friday? It's one thing to enjoy imagining things and to create stories. It's somehow quite another when your newly four year old can seem to distinguish more easily between reality and what is simply an enjoyable story.

It's unfortunate timing, though. My daughter will be plunged straight into history within weeks of this planned discussion, progressing quickly to the Civil War and going from there. I hope that she can look at the horrible events of recent history with some of the cheerfulness that infuses her view of today's world.


Sarah said...

Oh wow, you're going to just tell her? I keep waiting for Declan to find out. Some kids have told him, but he doesn't believe them.

Sarah said...

Oh wow, you're going to tell her? I'd be curious to hear how it goes. I keep waiting for Declan to figure it out. He's certainly been told by other kids, but doesn't believe them:)

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