Let me start out by saying that I get it.  I understand why some people feel that their version of "honesty" is the best policy when it comes to children believing in certain things that some deem fantastical - Santa Claus, fairies,...  Let me clarify that I understand, not that I agree. 

My daughter went to her second full day of 1st grade today.  The class was told to bring things that represent them so they could share with the class.  Well, my daughter loves unicorns more than just about anything, so she brought a little stuffed unicorn in her bag.  I wasn't there, so I won't pretend to know how it all went down, but it apparently ended with someone telling my daughter that unicorns are not real - they are make-believe.

What I love about my daughter is that when she was retelling the story to me, she wasn't crying or even upset.  She was disgusted.  Even though she wasn't grieving the loss of unicorns but genuinely bemused by the person's unbelief, I took the opportunity to talk with her.  

"I've never seen a unicorn," I told her, "but I still believe there could be some out there somewhere.  Why not?!  I've never seen a black hole or even the Taj Mahal, but I believe those exist."  

I'm just not into dream crushing.  Maybe that's what makes me a writer.  I believe that just about anything can happen.  Isn't that what makes life wonderful and fun and gives us a really great reason to wake up every morning?  Guess what?!  One day I was kissed on the cheek by Daniel Craig!  James Bond kissed me!  That can't happen in real life, but it happened to me!  I've had some crazy-awesome things happen to me, and I'm starting to think they happen because I believe they can.  You've got to look for the magic in life and then make that magic happen.

And another thing I might as well admit here.  I've seen a fairy.  I wasn't on drugs and I'm not lying.  I've also heard sleigh bells on Christmas Eve night in the middle of farm land in Mississippi.  Truth.

If a little one, or even a large one, finds joy in something, who are we to say it's not real.  My dreams are real even though you can't see them.

I'll close with something that has always been inspirational to me - the exchange between little Virginia O'Hanlon and Francis Church, editor of the New York Sun.

 

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