Magical Lies and Telling The Truth


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“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” 
― W.B. Yeats

Is there a good lie to tell? I think so, although dishonesty is my biggest pet peeve, there are some stories, told with love and magic, I believe keeps wonder alive.

Sitting with my 4-year-old Godson during our early Thanksgiving family lunch (we are Canadian we celebrate the 2nd Monday of the Month of October) I told my Godson:

«Eat at carrot and your eyes will sparkle»

He gladly took his small fork and gently proceeded to put a piece in his mouth. When he looked at me, with his gorgeous blue eyes, I gasped:

«Wow, your eyes are sparkling so much! Go ahead eat one more.»

He took yet another tiny bite, and as he looked up at me, I put my sunglasses on and told him:

«Magical! Your eyes are so sparkly, and the light so bright, let me put my glasses on!»

Needless to say he thought this was so cool, that he ate all his carrots, and I kept my shades on most of the time making our dinner together much fun.

As all this was happening (my Godson speaks french) my kids exclaimed in English (so the little one would not understand):

«Mom! You lied to us when we were little. His eyes weren’t sparkling and neither were ours»

“Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is.” 
― Joseph Campbell

My answer, is well yes and no. Carrots are good for your eyes and your health, so if making carrot eating fun by telling them their eyes are sparkling, and this in turn, makes us ALL smile and have fun why not? To add to my argument, his eyes were shining bright with magical wonder.

How can one beat that?

This got me to thinking today of all the magical stories we tell our children. Santa Claus (whom I believe in by the way), The Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy or how our eyes will stay crooked if we cross them too much.

Honesty, does this cross the line?

I am a huge stickler for honesty, authenticity and telling things as they are. My biggest pet peeve is to be lied to, and lied to I was many times. Yet, when my teens were small (and even as recently as just a few years ago) I told them stories about sparkling eyes, and how Santa Claus watched them on his big screen magic television (yes, so they would behave!). In fact, there were times, in the case of the carrots, I told them what I call: fun little white lies… or «tales» of wonder. As my children grew, they figured out I was «ahem» not exactly telling the truth.

Am I being dishonest?

santa clause tooth fairy (2)In a way yes, but in another no! To me, dishonesty belongs in the family of deceitfulness, cheating, and lack of integrity. I would also add, lying to hide behind the truth, and sometimes the truth hurts. Telling little fun stories to my children does not make me feel bad, however, telling my best friend that I didn’t break her new glasses (when I did) to save my skin, well that makes me feel really bad. (BTW I never broke anyone’s glasses, only my own).

One of the most challenging part of honesty, is being honest with myself. I often make excuses for my behaviour or someone’s else’ s actions because facing the truth would be too difficult. Yet, I have found, over the past 2 years, as I tell the truth, all the truth and nothing but MY truth, it is well received. Better than I can imagine really. I am more respected, valued and heard, than the girl hiding behind untruthful words…

Recently, someone told me a lie, and I gave that person an opportunity to tell the truth, yet, they decided not to. I respect it, but it still hurts. I do not wish to hang out with this person, truthfulness being a deal-breaker. However, if you tell me the «garden fairy» left those flowers in a vase on my table, well I will believe and forgive you any day!

Here’s to the truth and magical lies!

“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” 
― Spencer Johnson


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  1. I’m so glad to read this post, Kim! I too think about this lying business as being really grey, not absolute. I even read an article before the holidays that encouraging kids to believe in Santa Claus was actually good for them psychologically. Lying is something we all do, whether it’s these little white lies, or the deep, dark secrets we keep from even ourselves. And, I agree, ongoing dishonesty is a deal breaker, and forgiveness is freeing whether the relationship continues.

    • Kim

      January 19, 2014 at 10:00 pm

      I am so glad you read too!! I just re-read it and found TONS of mistakes I overlooked. So I took some time to fix what I could find at this late hour.

      I still love this post, because yes, I think these magical stories are good for children, and even adults.. It is always nice to re-discover the wonder of it all.


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