The concept of "the good guys" verses "the bad guys" is not a new one to my children. My oldest may not yet be 5 years old, but even the simplest story books have some antagonist.
The term "bad guys" has been extended for our purposes to help our children understand that that person or those people are not doing what is right and Mommy and Daddy don't want them to succeed. Over the years this has included everyone from the Big Bad Wolf to President Obama to any team playing Duke's men's basketball team. :) The girls know that you never want the "bad guys" to win and you always root for the "good guys." Certainly, being "bad" is not always as clear cut as Hansel and Gretel's witch or Jack's giant.
Recently, as Christmas has been rapidly approaching, the girls have seen more than one version of A Christmas Carol and have come to be very fond of "the bad guy" who becomes a "good guy" by the end of the story. In that sense, it has been a wonderful introduction for them to the subject of conversion and repentance.
But I've come to notice a very specific distinction between the way Cecilia deals with the concept of "bad guys" and the way Felicity does.
Upon watching the classic The Red Balloon, which I was watching for the first time with the girls, both girls kept asking who "the bad guys" were. When I suggested there might not be any, Cecilia matter-of-factly replied, "every story has a bad guy." She recognizes there is no perfect world without any bad guys but she also realizes that, for the most part, stories need an antagonist for the story to progress.
Felicity is not so ready to embrace such a world. Felicity will avoid stories because of the bad guys. She has said she doesn't want to see Tangled again because of the bad guys. Whenever she plays, she refuses for any of the toys to be bad. Alligators never bite and even those characters that were bad in the story, when she plays with them, have already repented and converted and are always good. The Beast never loses his temper and Maleficent only uses her magic for good.
Felicity doesn't want to play in a world with bad guys.
Of course this makes for some interesting play between Cecilia and Felicity whereupon Cecilia declares one toy the villain and Felicity immediately converts him.
It has been a fascinating distinction to see and observe. I am curious to see if Felicity is simply not ready to accept a world with "bad guys" and will eventually adapt to Cecilia's perspective or if she simply doesn't want to think of anyone being bad and will continue to fight against such a concept of the world.
The funny thing is that, while Felicity rejects a world with "bad guys" she is not a child to cheerfully greet anyone and assume the best of everyone. On the contrary, she is my shy girl who doesn't willingly give anyone a wave, a smile or a "hello" until she has gotten to know them and is confident that they are "OK" by Mommy and Daddy. Even people she is familiar with, like our parish priests, she will hide from until she "warms up" to them again.
It is almost as though Felicity is more sensitive to the fact the world has "bad guys" and so avoids them as much as she possibly can, maybe even hoping if she doesn't see them, they will go away and then they aren't really there.