Daily Prompt: Fantasy: The Tooth Fairy (or Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus . . .): a fun and harmless fiction, or a pointless justification for lying to children?
The Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Sandman, even Jack Frost have been the Guardians of childhood for ever since the beginning of time. They provide comfort to children all over the world. But most importantly, they give them something to believe in. That if you place the tooth you just “lost” under your pillow, the Tooth Fairy will bring you money. That if you’re good all year round, Santa Claus will bring you presents. That at Easter, the Bunny will scatter colourful eggs around the yard for you to have fun in a scavenger egg hunt. That even if you can’t sleep, the Sandman will make sure you do and ensure that your dreams are not haunted by nightmares. And that during the cold winter, that nipping at your nose is Jack Frost demonstrating his presence. These characters are there for a reason. To teach children the magic of fantasy, to enrich their lives with vivid characters, and to make them aware that for every action there is a reaction. Even though not directly evident, this very type of fantasy installs discipline in children’s behaviour.
I distinctly remember a black figurine in my grandmother’s bookcase next to my bed in her house. She always put me down for a nap after lunch and if I couldn’t or didn’t want to sleep she would tell me that this figurine would come out and punish me. My grandmother wasn’t racist. But she sure knew what she was doing, because I would always take my afternoon nap.
If anything, this fiction is harmless. It also creates memories of people in your life as you will certainly remember an instance or two of bedtime stories you were told or the anxious wait for one of these characters to arrive.
Fantasy is a part of our lives. An integral part for that matter. And regardless of age, everyone needs something to believe in, to help maintain hope that things will get better. That there will be a silver lining at the end of every dark cloud. And that these Guardians will prevail in the end and will protect the dreams we forge as children…