Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Magic, Fairy Tales, Spaceships, and Superheroes

 Every day when I pick up my son from daycare, I wonder what he has learned there besides the standard ABC's, coloring and stories. What will he remember from these days? I, too, was in daycare as a child, and to this day I still have one one very vivid memory that taught me about grownups.

In our daycare there was a side room where several kids and I were playing. Suddenly, one kid  who stood by the window yelled, “It’s a flying saucer!” He pointed excitedly up in the sky. We all ran over and looked, and there, high above the clouds, was a white object sitting practically stationary far above us.

We all stood there for a while, staring. Then another kid yelled, “Quick! Hide before it shoots us with its laser ray!” We all screamed, ran to a table, and crawled under for safety.

There under the table, I felt the need to do more than just hide. All our teachers were in the other room and didn’t know that such an epic event was happening! So I ran from our hiding place and found the nearest teacher.

“There’s a spaceship outside! We all saw it from the window!”

The teacher looked down at me, paused, and then said, “Yes, I know. They came down here to talk to me.”

I looked up at her with great disappointment. She didn’t believe me.

I don’t remember what happened next. But today, years and years later, I remember exactly how her comment made me feel. I never want to make my kid, or any kid, feel that way.

Kids believe in magic and fairy tales and spaceships and superheroes. As adults, we must never be so stuck in reality that we squash the imaginations and ideas of children.

Listen to children. Their questions and concerns are valid. Don’t disappoint them!

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