“Know you what it is to be a child? It is to be very different from the man of today. It is to have a spirit yet streaming from the waters of baptism; it is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief; it is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear…” -Francis Thompson
I simply love that quote. I just found it in my Susan Branch “Heart of the Home – Christmas Joy” book. In a recent conversation with my mother, I shamefacedly admit that I was wondering out loud about whether or not to teach the kids that Santa Claus is “real”… because, in my reasoning, I’m their teacher (as we homeschool) and their spiritual leader. I want them to know that when Mom tells them something, it’s true. I don’t want them somehow thinking someday, for example, that Jesus is a fairytale, like Santa Claus! (I tend to get way too worried about things sometimes.)
Mom set me straight. Moms & Grandmas are so good about that!! She pointed out that kids need the magic of their imaginations… the idea of possibilities, even wild stuff like husky old men in red suits bringing gifts… flying reindeer, hardworking elves… we happen to love garden “faeries” and red-hatted gnomes in my family… at the same time as we realize that those are wonderful imaginings, and we also have the security and full knowledge of the salvation of the Lord! They know the difference really, between stories of mice riding motorcycles and talking ranch dogs, or the angel of God appearing to Mary to tell her, “Do not fear!” Childhood should be delightful, innocent and protected, believing in miracles with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads. “Every good and perfect gift is from above”, right? That includes our wonderful imaginations… as long as we know where the Truth comes from! How blessed, to be a child who can rely fully on God’s tender and powerful love, as well as enjoy a childhood full of a world of fascinating imagination.
The Prince and Princess call it their “imaginer”, and with it they create airplanes out of Legos, elaborate trains out of boxes and Legos, meals out of, well, Legos… (they create everything out of Legos, it’s quite amazing actually). But they also create out of sheets of paper, scraps of fabric, wooden spoons, pieces of string, sticks and branches, pinecones and rocks. Their imaginations are vivid, fertile places… their beloved “mi-mi’s” (loveys, little fabric scraps of animals that they cannot bear to be parted from at sleeptime) can talk, have opinions, like to go on adventures, and need to wear seatbelts in the car. The wooden stable for our Nativity set (the one they actually get to touch) is better than any theatre stage, even if it doesn’t always include every character in the original nativity event.
My kids are so cool. My mom is so cool. How lucky (blessed) am I?!!
PS – their dad is pretty great too!