It’s 4:40 in the morning. I had gone to bed fretting about getting enough sleep only 5 hours ago. My five-year-old, Chasah, has entered the room. Reason?
Yup. You got it. That ficticious green fellow from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Apparently he was plaguing my little darlings mind.
Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is, “Honey, that’s not real. Go back to bed.” And you make them tough it out. But that was bugging my conscience.
You see, it’s not her fault. She’s five, right? She’s still figuring out what is and isn’t real. When we put on a cartoon, she’s always the first to ask, “Daddy, is this a true story?” And usually it’s about unicorns or something outlandish.
I’ve heard thoughts that kids below the age of 6 can’t truly distinguish between what’s real and fake. Commercials or cartoons, whatever, they take it all as gospel truth.
This is a scary responsibility. It can become pretty huge in your brain if you actually think it through to it’s end.
I am, as dad, the front line for guarding her heart and mind. I am her shield. I am her refuge.
It’s my fault that I showed a 5-year-old a 9 hour trilogy filled with war, carnage and imaginary creatures, not hers. (By the way, she got a real kick out of Shelob the spider… but Gollum, nope. He has plagued the girl for months)
I think that sometimes we take for granted our place with little ones. We expect them to be adults too quickly, and consequently, we rob them of the very thing that will bring them into the Kingdom of God predominantly.
When we saturate them with adult themes and thoughts, we kill that sweetness in them. Don’t be too quick to introduce big people stuff. I’ve been thinking about this with the music that I listen to as well. I enjoy some heavy hearted music, lyrics and poetry. But does my five-year-old need that? No. She needs Elmo. She needs fluffy and cuddly things.
Right now, as I type, she’s at my feet playing with dominos. She’s making many different structures, and is excited to show me each one, and then break it.
The truth about Chasah, is that she’ll follow me anywhere. She’ll take in whatever I give her. She’ll ingest whatever I put in front of her. This is because she believes me. She’s quick to believe.
I want to learn to take this responsibility to a much deeper level in my heart. This is fertile ground for cultivating a mind that is open to God’s heart and beautiful world.