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Sweet Little Lies

I am a storyteller. I see the world as something larger than life. I have experienced enough of what the world has to offer to know my children need to be protected from it. I tell them lies. The year the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade included participants whose performance was not suitable for children, I told them Macy's was taking a break that year. Maybe they will have the giant balloons next year. When highly inappropriate material was being published in children's books and placed in schools and libraries, I told my kids we were going to go to the bookstore instead. We can read books there and decided which book we wanted to keep forever instead of for two weeks.

My children are picky eaters with sensitive stomachs, so I lie to them. "This is not oatmeal. I know you hate oatmeal. I would never give you something you hate. Here is sticky cereal. Look, there is a picture on top made of colored sugar. Would plain old oatmeal have that?" Sticky cereal was their favorite breakfast for about five years. They still don't like oatmeal.

I think my two biggest lies have been that the world is a beautiful place that will welcome their ideas so long as their ideas are positive and filled with truth, and that I will be able to protect them from the monsters out there. I have met my share of monsters. The monsters recognize me, and they come for my children in secret. I have faced these monsters, but only after their hurtful seeds have been planted. The weeds of doubt spread quickly. The stalks of worthlessness are difficult to uproot. I have to remind my children to throw open the windows of God's light and set these negative ideas ablaze. It is in trials by fire we are made new.

I have come to spread fire on the earth, and how I wish it was already burning! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is completed! Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. Luke 12: 49-50

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Someone (CS Lewis maybe) said that children need fairy tales not to teach them that monsters exist, children already know that, but to teach them monsters can be defeated.

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