When my eight-year-old son told me matter-of-factly, “You know, Dad, Tooth Fairies and Santa aren’t real!” I felt sad and alarmed at the same time. Sad because I didn’t want my kids to let go of those beliefs just yet and alarmed because I figured that someone older at school might have spread this heresy. If it’s Tooth Fairy and Santa today, what’s next, that Earth is not round?
I thought about all the teeth and two-dollar coins that traded hands in the middle of the night while the little heads were asleep, making sure that the mornings were full of magic, joy and strengthened beliefs. False beliefs they may have been, but nonetheless they made my kids happy. And maybe, just maybe, this happiness helped lessen the pain of losing a tooth next time.
“Do you like Tooth Fairies and Santa?”
“Do you like getting presents?”
“So, don’t worry about Tooth Fairies and Santa being real. Real or not, when you believe in them, what happens?”
“I get money.”
“Well then, do you believe?”
“Yes. How much days ’til Christmas?”
The more I thought about this after our conversation, the more I wanted to write it down:
It’s not about tooth fairies and Santa, it’s about beliefs.
It’s not about fairies roaming the night looking for teeth under pillows, or about an old bearded man from North Pole rushing through the skies with his reindeer to deliver presents to countless children on Christmas Eve. It’s about what our believing in those things brings about in our lives. My kids confirmed that they liked getting money in exchange for their baby teeth. Christmas presents, of course, bring them on!
When you believe that certain things will happen and you talk about it, think about it, and can’t stop dreaming about it, in a way, you help make it happen. No, it’s not the law of attraction on steroids where many people expect that just thinking about what we want and acting as if it’s real will make it appear out of thin air. You have to take action to convert your beliefs and thoughts into reality. However, the fact that a simple act of believing in something may help it become reality is a very powerful concept. And a very real concept at that.
When kids expect presents for Christmas and all they talk about are presents, us adults listen and deliver. Sorry, Santa delivers. Tooth fairies, sure, I have no problem with them. When my son goes to bed saying that he can’t wait ’til the morning comes, so we can see if Tooth Fairy has delivered again, I am compelled to act. I act not so much to perpetuate a lie as much as to continue to make my boys happy.
Yes, you can debunk any myth and replace it with the cold reality of what’s possible and logical. Sooner or later, whether parents intervene or not, children will learn the truths of what really happens and how. And when the children grow up, they will probably choose to re-tell the same stories for their children. Many things we humans consider essential in our lives have very little to do with pragmatism and scientific proof of existence. Take hope and faith, for example. Or even childhood memories. Most of our memories from childhood take on almost mythical significance. That’s why we cherish them so dearly.
We know hoping for something is more than just the act of thinking about it or praying for it to happen. What’s more, it’s a state of mind. By believing, we invite things to happen and we dispel stuff we don’t want to happen. Although there’s no guarantee that what we want will occur, sending our wishes out there through our words, prayers and hopes to God, Universe and sharing them with other people around us, may just be what allows it to happen. After all, if we believe in Tooth Fairies and Santa, everything is possible.