“Are fairies real?”
“I don’t know, Bean. They could be. Do you believe in them?”
“Yes. But I’ve never seen one.”
“Just because we’ve never seen something doesn’t mean it’s not real, right? Have you ever seen a hippo?”
“So, I don’t know. Maybe fairies are real, and maybe they’re not. If you want to believe in them, go right ahead and believe in them.”
There’s been a mild fairy obsession around our house lately. It’s certainly not new, but the flames were recently fanned when we discovered several series of books that follow an adventurous girl duo who help fairies overcome the evil Jack Frost. We’ve been at the library more often than usual lately, eager to get our hands on the next book on the list.
And there’s been a lot of fairy talk. There have been fairy crafts: as I write this there are about a half dozen puffy, glitter sticker-adorned felt fairies hanging at random in the living room staring at me. There have been big plans for a fairy garden come spring time. (Sarah, I’m looking at you for a fairy garden piece, please!)
And when we’re out in the woods, we talk about where fairies might like to hang out. I mean, what little winged being wouldn’t love to settle down on a patch of soft moss? You know what I’m saying.
I’m realizing more than ever that I need these conversations with my daughter. There’s nothing much better than when we snuggle up with a book while she attempts to guess how Kirste and Rachel are going to get the moonstone away from the goblins and back into the hands of India the Fairy. And I love sitting on the floor in her room with a cup of coffee and creating little felt fairies with star wands and googly eyes, making a mess with glitter glue. I thrive on spending time in the woods with her and soak up watching while she stops to get a closer look at interesting rocks, gnarly tree bark and potential hiding places for mythical creatures. Doesn’t everyone need a container full of mica, acorns, and quartz? Doesn’t everyone need a little magic?
Caught up in the daily grind of traffic, work, chores, errands, and obligations, it’s easy to allow the stuff of youth to slip away. But I find that I’m needing it more than ever now. Being outside, and especially in the woods, has always been my reset switch. I’m trying to remind myself to let my daughter be the guide in our play; because after all, she’s the expert. Who does imagination better than an almost 5-year-old?
Sometimes reality can just hold its horses.