I have four kids. I lie to them all the time. I take my job as a parent and liar very seriously where they are concerned. I’m responsible for building their imaginations, of filling their brains with wonder and awe and all kinds of impossibilities come true.
We also like to burn stuff. Last night we took all of our paper recycling out in the back yard and set it on fire (in a safe place). They danced and sang and threw small branches in and watched the flames rise higher and higher. Then little bits of ash started to float up into the air and drift all around us. They glowed bright red before they turned grey and disappeared into the haze of dusk and the branches high above us.
My very practical daughter started to squeal, “Mom! We’re going to set the whole place on fire!”
I said, “Nonsense! Those are fairy eggs! Where do you think fairies come from?”
I suddenly had the undivided attention of all three of my older kids. (The youngest one was off eating rocks or something equally bad in the garden.)
What an amazing feeling, to have little ones in the palm of my hand, staring at me with huge eyes, waiting for my next amazing words. For those few moments in time, I was more exciting than a Nintendo DS or Minecraft. That’s a pretty big deal.
Of course, my oldest son is starting to call my bluff. He doesn’t believe in fairies anymore, he knows all about the holiday sprites not being “real”. But he still plays along. He doesn’t tease the littles and he still watches the embers rise into the treetops above us and disappear. I wonder if he’s making up lies to tell his own kids someday. I hope so.