|This pic is of Husband and me in 2009 when asked to perform as backup dancers, recreating Steve Martin's King Tut number at the Luxor. (I'm not sure why Hubby's head was cut off!)|
“I am a descendant of King Tut.”
Sounds impressive, huh? I certainly thought so at age eight when I told my friend Shawn the news.
“See this birthmark?” I asked, pointing to the perfect triangle on my upper arm that had been there all my life. “It means I am related to him.”
It sounded plausible, didn’t it? How many people are born with a pyramid on their arm? But I carried the story even further.
“Years ago, King Tut and his people traveled right through this area,” I said, gesturing to the Southern Indiana farmland around us. “Maybe if we go out in the garden and dig, we might find something that he dropped here years and years ago.”
So we got out our child-sized garden shovels and rakes and headed out to the garden that had been freshly tilled for planting. I let Shawn dig a bit while I waited in anticipation.
Of course she found artifacts, because I had put them there earlier that morning before Shawn arrived.
I don’t remember if she was amazed or impressed or skeptical. I don’t remember what exactly I put there that I thought could pass for ancient artifacts. Gold plastic rings? Army men? Beads? Jacks?
What I do remember is how fun it was to do this for her. I wasn’t trying to mislead her or play her for a fool. Instead, it was just a good story that I wanted to share. Treasure hunts were fun, right?
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about make believe, because my son will soon be the age to start learning about the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Santa, and God – all things we teach our kids are real that they cannot see. Online I see cute ideas for Fairy Doors in the walls, Elves that hide and create mischief during the Holidays, and dinosaurs that walked through the living room during the night and left tracks behind. These are all such fun ideas, but as an adult I have to admit that I feel a little dishonest when imagining “selling” these things to my son.
But I know I have to get over this idea. I never felt anger toward my mom for pretending. Instead, it was a fun game we played. I don’t even remember learning the truth – after I did, I still pretended because it was more fun that way. Why state the truth out loud and lose the magic?
So, soon I will jump enthusiastically into the world of make believe. And maybe one day Jude will also see how fun it can be, and he will also regale stories of his great Egyptian lineage.