Dragons Are Real, Parents Are Stupid

Some adults just don’t get it.

I remember a recent movie excursion with my wife, where we viewed the adapted CS Lewis novel “The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader” in 3D. There was a certain prude in attendance with his wife and two very young children; he must have gotten time off from his busy schedule of joy-killing to stoop to his kid’s level to watch this movie.

After a satisfactory viewing experience, my wife and I headed to the restroom facilities to unload about eight gallons of the carbonated syrup we accumulated in the past two hours. As I was waiting outside the bathrooms for my wife to finish (a common universal posture for any man with any wife) I overheard the JK (joy-killer) speaking with a fellow adult he happened to know within earshot of his children. The convo went like this:

“How was the Narnia movie?” fellow adult

With a snarky tone, “It was a bit farfetched,” said JK. “Extreme.”

My mouth dropped wide open. The only response my bewildered mind could conjure up was, “Really? Ya think?”

It is a movie based on a fantasy children’s book for mother Mary’s sake! I thought boys who turn into dragons, sword dueling mice and a talking lion were all based on living historical characters. But seriously, why don’t you just go ahead rip the imagination and innocence right out of your children’s little formative souls? While you’re at it tell them Santa is just your drunk great-uncle and all dogs go to hell.

It brings to mind one of my favorite GK Chesterton quotes:

“Fairy tales do not tell children dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children dragons can be killed.”

I feel a bit sympathetic for the JK, because some parental injustice must have been done to him in his early childhood, and as a result his ability to process allegory and wonder has been greatly diminished. In this rationalistic materialistic indoctrination maybe he missed the forest for the trees, and the redemption themes behind nearly every movie are (possibly) lost on him. The adult qualities of dignity and pretension has made JK a dull boy.

Metaphor, allegory, and the like, reveal deeper realer truths. If the stirring apocalyptic visions of apostle John’s crystal sea and blazing throned Majestic One are wonderful, the reality is much more so.

No wonder the lion of Judah, Jesus, told adults, “Unless you are converted and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

Hopefully, this childlike wonder will give us a fresh unction to see and worship Christ more, even in 3D movie events. And possibly then a mole cricket or blade of grass may bring us to our knees in curious delight.

I guess the moral of this story is: Don’t be a joy-killer; God loves to challenge the comfortable traditions and long-held presuppositions of our hardened humanity. Don’t scoff too hard at a fanciful land of mermaids and giant sea snakes, the truth just maybe more far-fetched and stranger than such “fiction.”

Bryan Daniels

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

29 thoughts on “Dragons Are Real, Parents Are Stupid”

  1. I’m telling you Chief that is why I refuse to grow up. I want to believe in dragons until the day I die. I want to believe in fairy tales. I want to believe that there is more out there than just this. That life is joy even with the pain. Love your post. Just love it.

  2. There is going to be a show at the Nassau Coliseum in New York called How to Train your Dragon. Apparently it is based on a children’s book & movie. http://www.dreamworksdragons.com/
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0892769/
    I was thinking of taking my brother Stephen if we can get a ride. We grew up with Jiminy Cricket, and various talking mice, cats & dogs so dragons are cool with us. Two years ago my brother and I had a great time at the Walking with Dinosaurs show. We love stuff like this. Stephen and I are just big kids in our 50s!! LOL!!

      1. Dreams, Fantasy, Make Believe is only in the minds of Believer or the Doubter. Let’s put these things into perspective. My Paternal Grandparents were born in 1878 & 1898 respectively. Cars,Airplanes, maybe even telephones and trains would have seem magical snatch from the future. Photographs were the latest invention to impact the lives of turn of the Century New Yorkers as they ran to catch the next trolley train. Radio, Television, Stereo, 45s, 8 tracks, Cassettes, VHS, IBM PC, Sony Walkman, Disc man, iPod. My have we progress from 1879. What will our descendants laugh about us in the year 2212!!!!

  3. The following video brings back fond childhood memories. Sadly Mary has since passed away. Years ago I used to work with Paul’s daughter. I was 7 when this song came out and quickly became a childhood favorite.

    Peter Paul & Mary – Puff the Magic Dragon

  4. I remember one of my pastors telling me that not everything written in the Bible literally happened (parables and the like), but they reveal truth. As a novelist, I heartily agree: Fiction can tell sometimes greater truth than reality.

  5. Thanks for the great post… I love both Christian allegory as well as all of the other great stories and movies – both classic and contemporary – that give us glimpses into the Real Story… Have you read John Eldredge’s Waking the Dead? He writes a lot about the importance of myth and allegory…

  6. My husband and I heard a speaker (at a parenting conference) share that we can be dream killers to our children and that they’ll always remember us doing so. I had to ask myself if I (as a wife) also kill my husband’s dreams. The speaker encouraged us to joyfully flame the fires of our loved ones’ ideas and trust that God is big enough to kill “dumb dreams”!

    1. Amen Cristal. I’m glad my Mom & Dad encouraged my creativity when I was a child. Imagination has served me well. Think of all the great artists, writers and musicians who have lived since people first walked the earth. We humans would have been deprived of so much beauty if our childhood hopes and dreams were crushed. I always encourage my boyfriend in his career plans. Anything that seems feasible or doable I let him know that I’ve got his back. Adults need support and encouragement also.

  7. Bryan, this was awesome. You’ve neatly summed up the reasons I surround my kids with books of all sorts, and instead of confining them to Bible stories, I teach them to seek Christ EVERYWHERE. Little kids have awesome and beautiful dreams.

  8. Great write, Brian. Really makes me reconsider my yelling at the TV when the wife is trying to enjoy a totally unbelievable detective/murder show. I especially like the courtroom “drama”, where they tell the jury to ignore that last question. Maybe I need to think of it all as Narnia, and leave it be.

    1. Ha! Charles I am the absolute worst at making fun of my wife’s cheesy unbelievable Lifetime movies. I never thought of applying this to that situation! Thanks…

  9. Our oldest is 21 and heading into his senior year of college. He is finishing up a college internship at Disney World. When he’s home for a visit he will occasionally throw on some costume and play out back fighting some imaginary foes. We love it! Some of our younger ones do as well and I hope they are able to stay that way throughout life. Great post!

  10. Of course dragons exist (or at least did…)! What else is that monstrosity toward the end of the book of Job?? Great post, sir!

  11. Rock on! Time well spent reading this one. I have a 3 children, 21, 19 & 17, and their imaginations are keener than ever. The creative mind is a blessing and to kill it is sad and in my book, a sin.

  12. Thanks for visiting my blog. I love this story you have written. I love all the childrens movies. Clean, simple, loving, imaginative, no cursing, and the bad guys always lose. More people need to just relax and let the kid inside of them come out more often. It’s lots of fun.

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