Friday, March 12, 2010

Imagination vs Fabrication

I am trying to decide today whether Lucas simply has a robust imagination, or if I am raising a compulsive liar. Lately, he has been telling me long, involved, outlandish stories and insisting that they are the truth. For example, on the way home from school today, he told me a story about sharks. He explained with complete seriousness, that "waaaayy back in 1982" (an exact quote), people had not yet discovered sharks. One day a fisherman decided to cool off after a long day fishing in the ocean by taking a swim. As he was swimming, his foot was bitten off by a shark. He looked down at his stump and noticed the teeth marks of a strange creature. He decided to scuba dive in the same place where his foot was bitten off, and discovered sharks. Lucas then went on to explain, as a last-minute thought, that this man's name was John Fisherman. "Weird, huh? That his name was Fisherman and we was a fisher man?" he said. And then he swore it was a true story and that he had learned about John Fisherman and his unfortunate run-in with a shark in school. me insane, but I do not believe that Lucas really learned this story in school. Lately, his extraordinary stories have become more frequent, more detailed, and quite frankly...just plain weird. He has told me that he found an eagle egg on the playground at school....and that there was an eagle nest on top of his school. He told me that a boy from his class was in the Olympics. He told me that he studied the ancient Egyptians in school...and that they were all men (he fought me tooth and nail on this one, insisting that it was true). He told me that an airplane landed in his school yard. He told me that some people don't believe in ghosts, but he does because he's talked to them (that one freaked me out a bit).

He insists with complete certainly that these stories are true. He looks me right in the eye and, with a completely straight face and angelic smile, vows that he is telling me the truth. is my dilemma. Do I play along with his fictitious fables? Or do I call him on them and accuse him of being a fibber...a fabricator...a perjurer? I am wondering if his ability to lie right to my face is a gift...maybe I am getting a firsthand glimpse into the creative mind of a future award-winning playwright? Perhaps his hearty imagination will lead to a Nobel Prize in literature? Then again, his strange concoctions could be a precursor to a life of crime. A future as a con man? Or worse...a car salesman? Where does imagination end and fabrication begin? Or are they one and the same? How do you teach a child to tell the truth, but encourage creative imaginings at the same time? was so much simpler before he learned to talk.


Post a Comment