A good friend of mine posted this link on facebook. It is an essay by Paul Graham about the lies adults tell children about the world in order to raise them from childhood to adulthood. It reminded me a lot about my constant battle with the ambiguities of postmodern parenthood.
I remember an event some years ago, when I was still an angry teenager. I had just been beaten up for no reason by strangers for the first time. I was growing more and more bitter with the world, moving further away from the open hearted tree-hugging country girl I had been. Dismayed at the realisation so many people seemed irrevocably evil, I asked a similarly jaded friend whether she thought we would be better off telling our children the truth about the world so that they would be tougher early on. And she said ‘No. I think we should let them have their dreams.’
This was a long time ago but I still remember it vividly. And now as a mother I agree with her. The only difficulty is determining just how much wool parents should pull over their children’s eyes before they cross the line between protecting them and harming them.