Scarlett is asking questions. Tricky questions. No not about genitals or reproduction, but ones I can’t answer – or feel the need to lie about.
Each night at bed time she asks me to tell her a made up story. Not just any made up story though – it has to be about her getting lost in fairy land. I find it fascinating how she can be so into the glittery, girly, nauseating fairy stuff, but also with the macabre ideas of loss and tragedy.
Most nights I indulge her wishes and try to think of new (not too scary) stories about her getting lost in fairy land. This evening’s story saw her being trapped by a troll after she mistakenly walked over his bridge. She listens so intently to my stories, never interrupting once. At the end of the story the wishing, wondering and questions start.
She often simply tells me ‘I wish fairies were really real mum’. I tell her that if she believes in them they can exist in her imagination. I am a bit reluctant to crush her dreams too much and she has such a vivid imagination and I don’t want to stifle it.
Tonight after our story she asked me ‘how can fairies be real but not trolls?’ Just when I think I’ve got my answers straight, she stumps me with a new one. Maybe I should just stick to telling the same story over and over again to iron out any problems and potential answers to questions early.
Lying to my children is something I’ve struggled with before. I’m sure as christmas approaches I will feel more guilty as I lay on the santa lies. Little Xavier may even start asking the questions. He is so much less innocent than Scarlett ever was at his age (due largely to his big sister), and he is pretty quick to pick up on things. There’s no knowing how long the facade of fairies and make believe will last though. I guess I’ll just hold on for now…