Who’s Fault is It?

Daddy's girl, wearing Daddy's hat

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.


2 thoughts on “Who’s Fault is It?

  1. Jama Fields Federspiel

    John, I LOVE the way you write. Your family is blessed to have you. Life isnt about being the perfect Dad or husband. Its about recognizing when we have areas to work on and then following through. This blog has a wealth of wisdom in it. We ARE responsible for our little ones and that is an area where a huge ball has been dropped in our society. We all want someone else to discilpline, nurture and teach them when it is us they look to as their first example.” I am so proud of you” doesnt even cover it really but I am; you will always be a part of us and we love you

    1. John Cullimore Post author

      Wow, Jama. That was seriously encouraging. I had no idea you were reading my blog. Thank you so much.

      I also love hearing the stories about your grand kids. I’m sure that you’re a blast as a grandma, you were always a fun mama. You and Brian gave a lot to Jennifer and I… though it may not have seen like it then. You and Brian always exhibited a freedom to explore the world around us that I truly needed. You loved God and you didn’t seem (at least not to me) afraid to enjoy the world that he gave us to live in.


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