I have two lovely and wonderful boys, aged two and four. It is my dearest hope that they not only grow up happy, but that they grow up nerds. I am, of course, stacking the deck in my favor.
Witness: I live in an old, historic town on the east coast. We have buildings here that date back to colonial times and are in the shadow of skyscrapers built just a year ago. Naturally, we have an obsession with pirates and ghosts in our historic district, and my sons have noticed this. They point at the old houses and call them ghosts houses and the old churches and call them castles. But, they then point at the skyscraper (The central office of a pharmaceutical company) and ask me what that is.
“That’s a wizard’s tower, son,” I say.
“Yup, a wizard who uses his magic to make special pills that can make people better, but that can sometimes hurt them too.”
Their eyes get as large as teacups. “Oh….”
Did I lie? Not really. Sufficiently advanced science and all that: the CEO of the company is a wizard just like I said. So I let him think this, and now, every time we drive past the “tower,” he exclaims “The wizard’s tower, daddy!” He then spins me yarns about how the wizard is angry today and needs to go fight the pirates and the ghosts.
My friends say that one day he is going to hate me for letting him think there was a wizard in that tower, but I don’t think so. I think he will love me for letting him see things as more than what they “just” are. Just to be careful, though, I let him watch plenty of movies with wizards in them.
What stories have you told your kids to spice up the world?
Richard Fife is a writer, blogger, and a disciple of Tesla, the true wizard-scientist. You can read more of his ramblings and some of his short fiction at http://RichardFife.com.