What is real?

I’m sure there’s more of this type of thing coming: Fantasy vs. Reality. And sometimes it’s really tough to know how to respond. I want to banish Lucas’s fears and find myself telling him that certain things aren’t real: “Monsters aren’t real, so if you see a monster and it is bothering you, you can just tell him ‘Go away monster. You’re not real.'”

On the other hand, I don’t want to strip the otherworld away from him too soon, and leave him bereft of all the joy and creativity and peace and play it can offer. In Waldorf education, children are encouraged to believe in faeries, gnomes, nature spirits, etcetera, because it’s important to cultivate and validate the imagination. It’s thought that children come from this spirit world to the earth to live among humans and learn new things, and that it takes many years (7?) for the child’s spirit to incarnate fully. The early years are lived with one foot in heaven and one foot on earth. From what I’ve seen and experienced in Lucas’s life, I think I believe it.

Soooo, cute and happy creatures, noble and benevolent spirits are real. Mean, scary, and wicked things are not real. Hmm…

… Somehow, this feels like a lie. There is plenty of wickedness in the world. Monsters are real, and somehow we have to keep them away from our son, and teach him to recognize and discriminate between good and bad, helpful and harmful, loving and hating.

I guess I will do my best to tackle one monster at a time, and frequently invite the faeries to tea.

6 Responses to “What is real?”

  • dakini_grl
    September 30, 2005 at 1:53 pm

    So cool. I was just thinking that you could also offer if they are scary monsters, they always do what you tell them to. So if Lucas says “I don’t like you, go away,” they will. I also knew a parent when I was active at the meditation center who always told her boy to ask the monster what it wanted, and that often made the monsters into kind entities. Many beings on an energy level thrive on the emotional energy we pump out; they use scare tactics to get us to react to them so they can get what we want. If you defuse the situation by asking them what they want, they will generally say what they are looking for or will go get their fix from someone else. (Ever seen a ghost or tried to talk to one?)

    Anyway. I like the idea of putting the power in Lucas’ hands to keep on with the world as he sees it now for as long as possible. I’ve also heard that the energy body isn’t quite formed until 7 or so, which is why children have that ability to live in a world where dreams and energy and waking life are all still one thing. I think it’s a wonderful, magical thing.


  • sarabellae
    September 30, 2005 at 2:13 pm

    I love this suggestion. I think this is the way to go: Give Lucas the power to associate with whomever he wishes. Those beings that he’s ready for can stay and those that he’s not willing or able to deal with can go away when he tells them to.


  • kimkimkaree
    September 30, 2005 at 2:50 pm

    That’s a toughie. Take it for what it’s worth but in my mind the fact that you’re encouraging him to address the monster is already acknowledging it as real and really you’re just redefining what the word “real” means. Reality is where monsters can’t exist. Maybe the key lies in accepting monsters but encouraging him with the fantasy tools to banish them. This is coming from a girl who spent almost her entire childhood peeking out from under the blankets to stare at the nightlight with vigilance. But then again I had an older brother that told me “monsters” were going to get me all the time.


  • flonkbob
    September 30, 2005 at 3:06 pm

    Reality isn’t where monsters don’t exist. It’s where we ignore them or replace them with monsters in human form. There are monsters. (Ever seen a Fundie or tried to talk to one?)


  • kimkimkaree
    September 30, 2005 at 3:37 pm

    After I posted this I see that of course dakini already said it better 🙂


  • gypsy_ritsa
    September 30, 2005 at 4:05 pm

    Hmm. You could even carry it one step further, and add in a lesson on balance– there is always good, and there is always bad, but they generally balance each other out, and since I’m a hopeless optimist, I’ll add in that I think the good eventually outweighs the bad. Sure monsters are scary (=bad), but they will do what you tell them to (=good). When we were growing up, my little brother’s “invisible friend” was a monster.


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    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

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