Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Magic of Make Believe

Here are parts of conversations I've had with Jill recently. I'm not ready for her "childhood" to end.

Jill: "Mama, are mermaids real?"
Mimi: "No, sorry, sweetie. They are just a fun thing to pretend."
Jill: "Oh. . . . Are seahorses real?"
Mimi: "Yes! Those are real."
Jill: "And crabs?"
Mimi: "Yes, honey, those are real."


Jill: "Mama, is Jesus just a story?"
Mimi: "No, sweetie, He is not just a story. Well, I believe in Jesus. There are people who do not believe that Jesus is our Savior, but I believe he is, sweetie, and the decisions I make every day are based on that belief. Whatever happens, know that your mommy believes."


Jill: "Mama, why are those kids swimming? Don't they know it is Sunday?"
Mimi: "Well, honey, some people don't think Sunday is special like we do. Some people think Saturday is a special day."
Jill: "They think Saturday is special?"
Mimi: "Yeah. And some people don't treat any days as special, but I believe that Sunday is a day we should try to make different than other days, a day where we try to grow closer to God."


Jill: "They're bad to swim on Sunday."
Mimi: "Jill, it isn't bad to swim on Sunday if you don't think Sunday is a special day. And even if you do something bad it doesn't mean you are bad. Did you hit Danny yesterday?"
Jill: "Yeah."
Mimi: "It was bad to hit Danny, but you aren't bad. And the people swimming right now aren't bad either. They just believe differently than you do."


Jill: "Mama, is Bo on the Go real?"
Mimi: "No, honey. She is just pretend. But isn't it fun to use your imagination and play with her?"
Jill: "Yeah, she's a lot of fun. Even pretend. But . . . is the dragon real?"
Mimi: "Nope. He's just a fun story, too."


I really hope she doesn't ask me if butterflies really are just butterflies. Right now, our story is that some of them are actually fairies, but their magic makes us unable to see them as they are.

I, haha, wouldn't actually mind if she asked me about Santa Claus. I dislike that guy getting all of the credit for my hard work. Ha. At least, I used to think that. As I've watched the magic fade from her eyes as she discovers what is and isn't real, it makes me kind of sad. But I hate lying to her, so I'm stuck.

I just hope that she is my daughter in that she ends up loving stories, imagination, and pretend even if it isn't real. I think you can learn a lot of important lessons with the fake, and that it can be a great way to cope with the real. I hope she learns to love the make believe like I do.

I wish we were back to the questions about plant and animal cells. Even though I didn't know all the correct answers, I would have preferred that to this new awareness. She loved mermaids. I hope she can still find a way to love them.

Jill, slow down! Let's keep some childhood magic alive.
These pictures were taken at the Boling family reunion at Shenandoah Crossing in July.
Our fabulous photographer was Peter Davis.

Do any of you remember when you were told that Santa Claus wasn't real? (Or any other "magical thing" of childhood that you especially loved? How did that go for you?


  1. I appreciate very much that you did not confuse concepts of knowing certain things are real, or fake, and believing other things are real, or fake. Alma 32 makes the difference between knowledge and faith/belief very clear. You cannot both know and believe something, it is one or the other. Knowledge destroys any possibility of belief, because it supersedes it.

    Yet in church people often mix up the difference between knowledge and faith, and pretend to have a knowledge of things which they certainly do not know, in the Alma 32, and dictionary, sense.

    :) Wonderful job!

  2. Yeah, so Hallie has definitely already asked me if I am Santa, and the Tooth Fairy. I'm a failure. It broke my heart, both times. And I didn't know what to say. It was horrible. And we drive past a swimming pool every Sunday as well, and every single Sunday, without fail, my girls are shocked that people are swimming. And they always ask why they can't go swimming too? It's so hard to explain to them at this age. Our neighbor has his religious day on Saturday, and they have a hard time understanding why he can't come out and play every Saturday. We've had pretty much those exact conversations with our girls.

  3. I don't ever remember believing in Santa but I do remember that we always said Santa would come during the night to bring toys. It always seemed very improbable that the guy could visit everyone even people with no chimney. I mean how does he handle people who have radiators? I still like the magic of Christmas presents though and the excitement of a Christmas tree. So I think she will be fine.


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