I know a guy who stands strongly against any and all fictional characters. He doesn’t see any value in his two young kids following Santa or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. He doesn’t want them chasing myths because, inevitably, one day they’ll be deflated to learn the truth.
I strongly disagree.
A few minutes ago, I wrapped up a letter to my 6-year-old daughter from Sunna. That’s the name I’ve given the Tooth Fairyâ€”the name she signs at the bottom of every letter, post-tooth loss. Thus far, Casey has lost six teeth, meaning she’s getting to know Sunna very well. She looks forward to the notes, and goes to bed wondering aloud what she’ll get under her pillow in the morning. (This time, it’s $5 and a small box of candy.)
I can certainly be a downer; a wet blanket; a death-obsessed grim reaper. But I believe strongly in the power of the fictional character. Sure, they’re complete bulls###, and the human’s ability to relate with the inanimate and invented is, to understate, peculiar. But I want my kids to be kids; to float with excitement and wonder and thrills. I want them to think Peter Pan (my favorite character) existsâ€”at least while they still can.
There’s plenty of time to be old and dumpy.