“Are fairies really real, Mom?”
This was the question I faced from Lydia the other night, as I tucked the girls into bed. I sighed.
You see, we have never done Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
However, we have always done the Tooth Fairy, and all fairies, in general. My kids have spent many happy hours hunting for them, and have been pretty sure they caught a glimpse of one at the corner of their vision. They’ve built houses for them to live in, and explored hollow trees, hoping for a glimpse of fairy furniture. They love fairy tales, fantasy, and adventure.
They live in a world of make-believe as much as possible. Their imaginations are vivid, clear, and beautifully pure. Except for the burps and farts. Nothing is perfect.
That night, I looked into my little girl’s eight-year-old eyes, and could not lie to her direct question. Would not lie. I took a deep breath, and told her, “No, fairies are not really real, but there is no reason you can’t pretend that they are, and still enjoy the fun of looking for them.”
I confessed to her that I still often look out for them myself. When I go on walks alone, I find myself pretending I am a fairy, and that the tall trees are really flowers, but they look like trees to me, because I am so very small.
She and Audrey smiled at me through eyes that held tears, but weren’t quite spilling over. Deep wells of blue and brown held understanding for me. I had let them in on my secret – that I still live in fairyland a bit myself, and that it’s okay. They knew then that Mommy gets it, gets them.
No one can be practical all the time. Not really. It is for this, that I am thankful today: Imagination. Without it, life would be so very dull. I am thankful that my children understand make-believe, and are using it to help them understand the Truth.
I had already had to tell Durin a few weeks ago. His heart broke, and he cried. My heart broke. I cried. Still, we all go on pretending anyway, and having fun with it. He got a dollar for the next tooth that came out, instead of the usual 50 cents. I couldn’t help it.
Do you still play make-believe sometimes? ‘Fess up!
Grace & Peace,