03 November 2010 @ 11:53 pm
lj idol week 1 - Here there be Dragons  
Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed. - GK Chesterton

“Are.”

“Are Not!”

“Are too”

“Not.”

“Too.”

“Mum!”

“Margaret!”

“Ow.”

*thump*

*clatter*

That was my cue to intervene, the eternal shout for the ultimate referee, mummy. Even after I finally managed to separate the two squirming and still punching boys, it took another ten minutes to get to the bottom of the story. It had all been started by a dragon. Well not literally of course, the crux of the matter lay at the heart of two little boys, so different that they were less Chalk and cheese and more Earth and Mars. They literally came from different planets.

Kieran, my seven year old brother in law is pragmatic and sensible, his favourite activities are playing games on the computer and kicking a football. He believes in what he can see, what he can touch, what is tangible and real and right in front of him. When he grows up he wants to be an army medic. Robert my four year old son is imaginative and inventive. He lives with one foot in this world and one in the netherwold. His favourite activities are playing at knights, being Ben 10, or Spiderman, or sometimes Ben10 AND Spiderman at the same time. When he grows up he wants to be a Ninja or an archaeologist, or a superhero, or a superhero who moonlights as a ninja archaeologist. They are so different that trying to get them to agree on anything is next to impossible.
This particular argument was about the existence of Dragons, something that Kieran insisted, like unicorns and dwarves and fairies was totally made up. Of course when he put this argument to wee Robert, it had enraged my son to the point that he challenged Kieran to a duel, which Kieran ignored and went happily back to playing his PSP, or at least he did until Robert hit him over the head with the duelling sword causing the riot to ensue.

It took me twenty minutes, two stern lectures and a chocolate lollipop to finally get everything back to normal. As I watched one child sit on the couch his head buried in a computer and another run around the livingroom, jumping off the furniture whilst pretending to be a spaceman, I wondered, not for the first time, how two children, raised in the same area, by the same family and with the same shared experience, could be so different. It’s not that I would change Kieran at all he is perfect, it’s just that Robert sees the world differently from everyone else. Every day is a new oppertunity, each moment the next step in his mission. It is a world of knights and superheros, of princes and quests. I wonder sometimes how I will feel when he starts to grow too old for fairytales. When stories of dragons and knights will be replaced with girls and parties. Watching him explore the worlds of his own creation inspire me to explore my own imagination. To play with fairytales and see how I can make them my own, to look for fairies at the bottom of my garden and to wonder about the mysteries that lie in the hidden places we adults tend not to look.

With Robert every day in an adventure waiting to unfold, and each day I, along with him, am someone different. A princess in need of saving, the evil queen trying to take over the land, a superhero fighting her arch nemesis, Lord Roberto (kid has a killer imagination but he sucks at names, everything is a variation of Robert). Each day I am granted a front seat as dragons and unicorns and radioactive spiders try to take over or save the world, and I have to admit I will miss that when it is gone, when dragons become uncool and fairytales are something for babies. I know my husband worries sometimes that his head lives too far in the clouds and would prefer him to be a bit more pragmatic, realistic, to view the world the way others do, rather than through adventure tinted glasses. But for the moment at least I am loving every moment of treading though the forests of Endor, doing battle with evil Sith lords and facing down the dragons that threaten our kingdoms.

At the very least I am never be bored and will have time to gather up plenty of blackmail material for when he brings his own princess home to face the dragon.

This has been my entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol Week 1, if you would like to vote for me, please click HERE :D