I read an interesting article the other day. It said that children who are raised in non-secular homes are less likely to distinguish between the possible and impossible when reading stories than children who are raised in secular homes. My first reaction was to google ‘secular’ because I always get the meaning of that word mixed up with its opposite, but once we had that squared away, I re-read the article. So basically, the researchers were saying that if you raise your kid to believe bible stories and miracles are real, they will read other stories and think those are real too. And they will grow up to think that impossible things can really happen and that magic really exists.
For a good part of my life I counted myself as a ‘realist’ who believed only what I could see, touch or feel and had no time or patience for any of the supernatural. Through a series of calamities, mostly self-inflicted, I hit a place of despair that is too dark for the kind of books I write. Part of my journey in climbing out of that pit was realizing that every single person I knew who had the kind of serene joy that I wanted also had a belief in the ‘supernatural’. Out of purely self-seeking motives (I wanted to feel what they felt) I decided to get me some of that. Eventually I had some direct experiences that convinced me not only was there a ‘Higher Power’ out there, but that it had my best interests at heart and that there was definitely an afterlife. The rest of my journey is for another time, but my book Grief Inc, captures the essence of it, if not the factual details.
The point is, as someone who has lived without magic and with; without believing that impossible things can happen and with knowing they do, I will hands down give my child a world where miracles do happen if it’s at all within my power. Even if it does mean I’ll have to explain to her at some point that the three bears don’t REALLY talk and eat porridge.