“Is Batman real, Mom?” my five-year-old daughter asks.
“No,” my son answers before I have a chance to say anything.
“He is, isn’t he?” Lexie asks again. “I want to go to Gothem.”
Last Halloween, she was Wonder Woman and the year before she was Bat Girl. We recently took her to the Texas Comicon. She loved seeing the people dressed up and asked if this was the real Wonder Woman (see photo to the right) but did realize that many of the characters there were not the real ones. I guess they didn’t look too much like the “real” thing.
Of course, it isn’t just superheroes she asks about. It is Scooby Doo. (“When I am Daphne’s age, I want to go to Crystal Cove too.”) Or Winx Club. (“I wish I had wings like Bloom does.”) To Lexie, all of these characters and worlds are real. She really wants to go to these places and meet her “friends.”
Frankly, I am at a loss sometimes on what to tell her. Of course, some of these are real people. She hugged Snow White, and that was a real person playing Daphne at Scooby Doo Live. And she does recognize that those are living people in the movies verses the cartoon drawings.
If we let her believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy, what is the harm in letting her believe these superheroes or characters are real? Are they not at least real to her?
Jase of course seems bent on ruining it for her. He takes every opportunity to tell her they are not real, that those are just actors portraying the characters. This is the boy who refuses to go near any of the characters – even if they aren’t wearing a mask.
I don’t have any problem with Lexie believing in these characters. All too soon that magical belief that anything is possible will be gone. But it also makes me wonder if all these heroes are real, what about the villains or the ghosts and other nasty creatures depicted in the shows or stories? It is hard to explain one away as fake while supporting that the others could be real.
I guess we will continue to let her believe that these superheroes are out there as all too soon she will grow up and her attention will move onto other things…such as boys. Oh, my. I am not ready for that!