Ok, there are certain things that I have no problem with “misleading” my children with in order to keep the excitement and youthfulness of the event, like Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc., but this one presents a little different question for me. One night we were watching Dora and she was chasing a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or something like that, I wasn’t really paying attention. At one point, she rode on the rainbow like a giant slide all the way down to the bottom, where she found the pot of gold. Ever since then, the girls have been obsessed with finding that ever elusive pot of gold. Oh and Hudson really wants to ride the rainbow too, but that’s not as important.
Last week, during one of our many, many rainy nights, there was probably the most vivid rainbow I’ve ever seen. I happened to be on the golf course, I wasn’t with the girls to show it to them, so I took some pictures. The next morning when they woke up, I showed them the pictures and told them that it looked like the rainbow ended at our house. They immediately asked if the pot of gold was out there, and continued to ask how we can find it the next time there’s a rainbow. I told them i wasn’t sure how we find it, but we’ll wait for the next one and see if we can find it. They asked me for the next 4 days when the next rainbow was coming. Hard to explain that science to kids, let me tell you.
This is where my guilt/conflict/question comes in. For Santa, there’s presents under the tree. For the Easer Bunny, there’s candy. For the Tooth Fairy, there’s money under the pillow (when they actually lose teeth that is). But what about the pot of gold? There’s never a payoff for this extension of the truth. I call it that because there may be a pot of gold, I’ve just never seen it, so I don’t want to totally discount it. Now I’m not about to break this fantasy for them, but my question is, when is it ok to tell your kids false truths like this? I don’t want my kids being the naive ones at school that other kids make fun of because their mommy and daddy told them there’s really a pot of gold. But I still want to keep those little things exciting and fun. I want their imaginations to blossom and grow, which they already do. It’s just a question I asked myself the other day. I guess this is why they say parenting is hard.
Editing note: After seeing a couple comments I wanted to clear something up – I in no way intended to say that I would ever stifle the girls creativity or imagination. Heck, look at the business I work in. It’s all of those things. I will continue to encourage them to chase the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, if for no other reason that it’s a good representation of how they should always chase their dreams. It was more of a timely analogy that made me say “hmmm.” Just asking the question, or raising the point more than saying I was going to change anything. Thanks for the comments. Glad to know you guys are really reading this.