It’s been a momentous week at the Tiede house. For the past five weeks we have diligently studied Ancient Greece. Even Caleb (age 4) has endured/enjoyed lots of Aesops Fables and Greek mythology. Kadi (age 10) certainly understands it at a deeper level, but 6-year-old Ben has amazed me with his level of comprehension. Each night at supper the kids recount their most recent story to Dad. Ben always adds, “It’s not real, Dad.”
Last weekend I spoke in Owatonna, MN and the family went with me to do a little shopping at Cabela’s while I did my thing. After lunch, we treated the kids to an afternoon movie. We went to see “Santa Clause 3.” We loved the first two movies and were eager to see three…which proved a bit disappointing. However, Ben was very attentive to all the details, particularly Santa’s “mythical” friends; the tooth fairy, Sand Man, Mother Nature, Easter Bunny ,etc.
Three days later it all came together for poor Ben. While he curled up on the couch watching me exercise (I’m not sure why my boys get a kick out of that….hmmm), he suddenly asked, “Is Santa a myth?” I can tell you, I quit doing lunges right then and there! Now, we don’t play up the Santa thing too much at our house, but he does show up and brings one gift per kid and fills their stockings. We also talk about the original Saint Nicholas. Well, I couldn’t lie to Ben, so I admitted that the fat guy in the red suit is, in fact, a myth. Bless his heart. He was a bit down in the mouth all day about that.
Two days passed and I was again exercising when Ben said, “Is the tooth fairy a myth too?” When I confirmed his suspicion he asked, “Do I still get my money?” (Ben will likely lose his first tooth this week…it’s close!) Ben then ran through every ficticious holiday character he could think of (most happened to be in the movie.)
When we started reading the Greek Mythology, the author included a warning that the latter stories might be too graphic and troubling for young children. We have repeatedly discussed the fact that myths are not true. I wonder if I should write the author and clue him in that his warning should say “reading these myths to your children may change their holidays forever.”