I’ll never forget the day she came home crying, tears rolling down her cheeks. Her heart had been broken in two, that much was apparent.
I quickly bent down to give her a hug and asked what was wrong.
Earlier that morning, I remember her being so excited for the first snowfall of the season. She couldn’t wait to get to school and to relish in the magic with her friends. She skipped down the road, her her hand in mine so excited for the day to come.
And the reason for the tears? When she arrived at school, she ran up to her friends squealing with delight over the freshly fallen snow. She proceeded to tell them that SHE was the reason it snowed. She had asked God to make it snow, so He did. She believed it with everything she had inside of her.
But her friends didn’t see it that way. They laughed, and teased her, and told her that was impossible.
Since that incident we have had many run ins on the topic of belief in our household, and how everyone is allowed to believe what they want to as long as it doesn’t cause harm to others.
My parenting methods may not be like most parents, but I’ve decided to let my children believe. To believe in magical creatures, and far away lands. To believe that those things really do exist and that they can do whatever they set their mind to.
You ask either of my children and they will say without a shadow of a doubt that Unicorns, Mermaids, Fairies, and Santa Clause are in fact REAL.
And it all stemmed from a conversation we had around the dinner table a few months back. My youngest was crying because his sister said that zombies weren’t real. Yes, zombies. The same sister who was teased for believing that God made the snow just for her.
Normally; I would have squashed the conversation with an ‘Eat your dinner’ response, but this time I didn’t. I wanted to make this a teaching moment.
So I laid my fork down, and I looked my daughter square in the eyes. I asked her if she remembered the day her friends teased her. She did. I asked her if it made her feel bad that others didn’t believe in what she did. She said no, but I could tell she was starting to understand.
I asked her if she would be upset if someone told her God wasn’t real. She looked down and responded with a gentle yes.
And then I explained that even though she didn’t believe in what her brother believed, that it wasn’t ok to make others feel bad for what they did believe. It’s not our place to make someone feel bad for what they think and feel.
I went on to tell her that we are all entitled to our beliefs and if we want to believe something is real, there is nothing wrong with that. As long as it doesn’t cause harm to others, you are entitled to your opinions.
And while she may not believe that Zombies are real, her brother did, and she would need to respect that. Making him feel bad for his thoughts, was unacceptable.
Ya’ll I realize I sound crazy. I mean we are talking God vs. Zombies right now. But I think you can catch my point.
So many times we are quick to judge others because they don’t see things the same way we do. Sometimes we are quick to laugh something off because it seems ridiculous.
Or sometimes we do some major damage by putting someone down for what we deem “crazy” beliefs.
But do you realize that the reason this world is such an incredible place is because we have so many ideas, and thoughts buzzing around? Because someone dared to use their imagination and dared to think outside the box, we have some pretty incredible things at our fingertips because someone decided to go against the “norm”.
There are so many unique people in this world, people who have dared to stand up for their thoughts and beliefs, and because of that, this world is a much brighter place.
So yes, I am the Mom who encourages her kids to believe in magical things, but more importantly, I encourage them to think for themselves. To decide what they believe to be true or not. I am shaping them to become humans who can make an impact on this world by standing by what they feel is right and true.
Human beings who can not only stand up for their beliefs but can also have the respect for others who see things in a different way.