It’s been a deafening few days. Barely did the sounds of outrage over the Newtown baby murders die down before news of a brutal rape in Delhi shook our collective consciousness. Our belief in humanity is getting depleted with each passing day. The callousness and sheer violence that one human being can inflict upon another is leading us beyond shock into fear and rage.
As parents we all are frightened. What is this world that we are giving our children? Why is it that innocents are getting targeted more and more in heinous crimes? How are we going to protect and equip our children for the big bad world? These are the questions that hound us these days – with a greater urgency than ever before.
There have been many voices of sanity and courage on Parentous these last few days. Parents who have pledged to not let their children cow down, to take steps away from stereotypes and potentially harmful behaviour patterns. At a time like this, the importance of parenting really comes into focus. And at a time like this one can really see the glimmers of hope in communities like this and amongst those fighting the good fight out there in the streets of Delhi and other cities across the world.
And coincidentally it is the season of hope. It is Christmas time and a brand new year awaits us around the corner. Many of us are fortunate to have amongst us the purest of the pure – our innocent believing children! Which brings me now to the myth of Santa Claus and why I believe it is something to be propagated.
We all know that Santa Claus is a patch up job between Saint Nicholas and the Coca-Cola company. Yet we have spent at least a few years of our lives desperately believing in him. Believing in magic. Believing with certainty that naughty vs. nice is the only parameter that was ever needed. I see that in my child’s eyes now. The certainty with which she believes that Santa is watching her and all she needs to do is be nice to be rewarded. There is something about the simplicity of this belief that is so endearing.
A few years down the line of course she will figure out the truth or somebody may break it to her. But till such time I would like the magic to prevail. In a time when childhoods are in danger, I would like to preserve this myth for her. Even as I talk to her about good people and bad people and warn her about the dangers of the world, I would like to keep some magic alive in her childhood. Because she will be a child but once, for a preciously fleeting time. And for the length of this time magic and hope need to be kept alive. Let’s let our children be children for as long as they can!
With this thought I wish you all a safe and merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year!
Nidhi Dorairaj Bruce is a Freelance writer from Mumbai. With no formal education in Parenting, she has been getting on-the-job training ever since her daughter, affectionately referred to as ‘the kidlet’, arrived on the scene 5 years ago. On Twitter, you can connect with Nidhi @typewritermom