Several years ago my mother told me that ALL birds sit the same direction when sitting on a wire. Momentarily, I forgot this was the same women who told me that Santa Claus, The Easter bunny and the tooth fairy were real.
The day I discovered that birds do their own thing brought about a similar feeling as I had when I discovered Santa Claus really didn't make that arduous trek each year on Christmas Eve. For the longest time I kept looking at birds on a wire hoping she was right! I even told myself maybe she meant if they sit there long enough they'd get on the same page. When I finally came to the conclusion what she had told me was hogwash (yes, hogwash), I shook my head and wondered why she had lied to me...AGAIN! I immediately told my daughter, the princess that her grandmother was crazy!
I was probably a lot younger than most kids when they come to the realization that Santa Claus isn't real. Thanks to my 3 older brothers, I was 5 when they enlightened me. The enlightenment had a definite purpose. After all, of course they didn't seize the moment to once again crush me like they had by hiding my decapitated dolls under the house and cutting all the stuffing out of them or begging my mother to take me for a ride in the stroller only to let me roll down a hill and smack into a tree. This enlightenment came about as a result of my mother telling them when I stopped believing in Santa Claus, the family would open their gifts on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day. My mother felt it was easier to "get it out of the way" the night before, so she could concentrate on cooking the next day. Let's just say, the Santa myth was thoroughly debunked in 1960.
As an adult, I started wondering why do we do that to children. Why do we set them up for their first major disillusionment? Would it be wrong to tell them from the start that Santa Claus is just make believe? I often wondered why we do the same thing with God and Jesus to children. Can't we can teach children morality and goodness without doing it with fear tactics? Instead, the fear of burning in eternal damnation if they aren't good people and believe in a deity that allows horrible things to happen to good people is drummed into their minds. Shouldn't we lead by example? Shouldn't we put telling the truth at the top of the list when teaching children about life and how to deal with people in general? Shouldn't we do the right thing just because it feels right?
Gratitude statement: I am thankful for the moments of clarity I have.