Our culture is currently inundated with themes fantasy in nature; we have books about wizards, magic, vampires and werewolves, television shows and movies about witches, magic wardrobes, hobbits, and the afore mentioned literary themes. Our lives are bombarded by images in the ads and commercials for the movies, books, and television shows. There are books dedicated to explaining background storylines, the development of these fictional worlds, and the impact they have on society as a whole. We have dozens of websites dedicated to purchasing memorabilia for each individual series we are currently addicted to (my fave is etsy.com – you can type in anything there and find some pretty unique items); all of this exposure has led to some very difficult conversations in the Smith household.
Tarzan and I made a deal well before Cheetah made his grand entrance into the world that we would tell him the truth, ALWAYS. Obviously the truth will need to be age appropriate and does not apply to Santa, the Easter Bunny, or Healthcare Reform (I’m pretty sure he’s going to see through them quick enough on his own) but no babies from storks, no happy little farm where animals go to live, and no politicians that live up to their promises. But lately he’s been asking some difficult questions: Are there aliens in the galaxy? How is God real if I can’t see him? Does Bigfoot exist?? If I go out at night are there vampires and werewolves?
I am at a loss, I don’t want to mislead him but I’m not real sure where I stand on most of the previously listed questions. I want to believe that there are aliens out there, surely we can’t be alone here and there is NO WAY that we are the most civilized and intellectual beings in space. For me the God part was cake, and he had no problems grasping the concept of a ‘father type figure’ to watch over the world but; Bigfoot, werewolves, vampires? These are the things I have no idea about. There have been several studies and tons of research done for both sides of every story. No one really knows for sure… no one person can provide proof, without a shadow of a doubt.
For now I am buying myself time by saying they are fictional characters that come from the imaginations of other people. After all, I don’t want him going to bed scared to close his eyes. What will I tell him when he realizes that there are people who not only believe in these creatures but that they ARE these creatures…Fact/Fiction what do you tell a child???