I figure there is already enough mystery and magic in the universe without me making further fabrications.

I was asked to stay after school to talk to Judah's preschool teacher, again, on Friday (1st time: Judah would not go to the washroom with the TA because she was "too ugly").  This time, one of his classmates' "Montre et Racontre" (Show & Tell) was an item received from Santa, which was challenged by the skeptical Judah.

"There's no such thing as Santa Clause."

The teacher, not sure how to respond to the situation, chose the option most of us would - ignore it and hope it goes away.  This does not work with our Judah who does not give up until receiving acknowledgement.  Apparently he repeated his provocation an additional three times, accompanied with his cheeky grin, before his poor teacher addressed him, saying, "Some people do Christmas differently in their houses." 

So after school, I am pulled into the classroom to have this serious matter addressed.  I listened to his teacher's retelling of the story, and while I felt mildly bad for the awkwardness of my child's cheekiness, mostly I was amused and I wasn't quite sure why this was worth spending additional after school time on.  She wasn't getting paid anymore, after all.

"I wasn't quite sure what to say, I thought maybe you come from a certain religious background.  I thought it probably wouldn't be appropriate to tell him that he's lying . . . "


Now I was the one experiencing an awkward moment, and was not sure how to address it.  Was she telling me that SHE subscribed to the Red Suit Theory?  Which religion is it again, you'll have to remind me, that does?

I do not see any value in stringing my kids along to have them discover in a humiliating encounter with an older, enlightened playmate, that they've been punk'd.  I also am not sure why anyone would be tempted to tell my child that they are lying, when it is my child is playing the role of the enlightened playmate.

Can anyone help me see the value in lying to my kids about santa's, toothfairies, and easter bunnies?

To me, these are the easy ones.  Things get dicier when they get into questions about god, the afterlife, etc.  For some parents, these issues are easy because they fall into the same categories as flying reindeer.  In our house, things aren't as clear-cut, so we take the road of sharing our ideas, our doubts, and our hopes.  I think the conversations will get even better as they get older, and I can't wait to find out what they will teach me.


Book Review: "The Invention of Air" by Steven Berlin Johnson"A story of science, faith, revolution, and the birth of America."

"The Case for the Generalist."

The first is the actual subtitle, the second is my own.  There are themes in this book that will remain with me for a long time, at least for today and tomorrow, which is a long time these days. Steven Berlin Johnson is the father of three boys, husband of one wife, and author of five books, "The Invention of Air" being the most recent . . . and I really like it.  I've been talking about it every day for days.  Not that I had much of a choice, when you write a book making a case for the generalist, toss in a rogue hero challenging church & political institutions - with a dash of optimism  - count me in.

The book takes a look at enlightenment era and the birth of america, centered around a lesser-known albeit extremely influential character named Joseph Priestly, all through the lens of ecosystems science.  I should add this disclaimer: I did not read this book, I listened to it while driving, which is how most of my "reading" has been accomplished lately.  Although I backtracked several portions to understand it better, I did not have the luxury of re-reading parts, taking notes, quotes, etc, and this will be pretty evident in my thoughts below, as well as the accuracy of the information I present!

View short video clips of some of Steven's material on YouTube here.

See also: "The Top 5 Reasons to be a Jack-of-All Trades" by Timothy Ferriss.

To be continued when time permits . . .