We’ve heard the story of Pinocchio more than a dozen times. It’s a classic, often used as a reference by our parents whenever they’re reminding us about the consequences of telling lies. “I can see your nose getting longer,” they’d say. Or, “Remember what happened to Pinocchio when he lied?” We can still hear our parents say the lines that cause us to fear lying – or being caught lying, for that matter, and we forget about the other characters in the story that actually holds another volume of stories that we can actually draw lessons from.
Mister Geppetto, the poor and impoverished woodcarver and the creator (and father) of Pinocchio holds a great story of sacrifice. His story began with a block of pinewood. Instead of carving it into a table that he could have sold, Geppetto carved a boy, which he named Pinocchio. As soon as the he carved its legs, he began to teach him to walk; and as soon as he knew how to walk, the boy ran away from him. Being poor never stopped Geppetto from giving his son his best. To send him to school, Geppetto had to sell his only coat. Yet, his efforts were met by ungratefulness and mischief. Still, he loved. No matter what Pinocchio did and how far Pinocchio went, Geppetto never closed his door or his heart to the boy. In his loneliness, he found love. And is the first lesson we can draw from this classic: isn’t that what parenting is all about? Can’t every parent relate to how Geppetto must have felt? No matter how ignorant, mischievous, adventurous, or impossibly ungrateful our children are, we still believe in their goodness inside and hold faith that they will turn out to be the children we dreamed of.
If you’re like us at all, you’re likely to introduce your children to this classic, to Pinocchio and his daring adventures. When you do, we hope that aside from warning them about the consequences of lying, you’ll take the time to highlight the sacrifice of Pinocchio’s father, and maybe you can also tell them about how listening to your parents can lead them to the right path – or in the words of the brilliant author who created this piece, remind them of the ways to keep your ears from turning into donkey ears.