Car conversation with a 4 year-old early in the morning…
Kali: do monsters have bellies?
Me: monsters don’t exist.
Kali: do they have eyes?
Me: they don’t exist so they don’t have anything.
Kali: do they have mouths?
Me: Kali, monsters aren’t real. It’s a made up thing for television and entertainment.
Kali: They do exist. Do they have necks?
Me: Monsters aren’t real.
Kali: YEESSSSS they are.
Me: In a philosophical way… yes. They are real. There are bad people out there. But they didn’t start bad. They started with love. They came into this world with light and someone blew it out.
Kali: Why people create monsters then?
Me: (sighing….and then a mini rant longer than I can remember) Baby girl, monsters do exist. I’m sorry. They exist in anger and hatred. They exist in mental disorders and they are there to corrupt our world. They are fabricated in religions and stories to fill doubt in others. They instill fear and oppression but it’s mostly there for a lot of growth and balance. Where there is light there is also darkness. So, they do exist in a metaphoric term but not in a way you are thinking of when you watch television. That’s also there to create anxiety and despair. We live in a society that uses control mechanism through fear based subjects…and “monsters” are one of those ways. They don’t have giant heads and distorted bodies.
She then asked about Kali the Destroyer. Her daddy told her about Kali, the Hindu Goddess, and how she has the same name. He went on to tell her about her history the other day. She recited bits and pieces of what daddy told her. I was surprised she got a lot of it spot on. She wanted to know if she was a monster since she’s depicted with her tongue sticking out at times. I answered to the best of my ability.
Kali: so you see, they do exist, Mama! Do they have tongues? Not Kali…she’s not a monster, right? But the rest of the monsters, do they have tongues?
Me: ugggghhhhh… silence.