Hello dear friends
It was one of those questions from my granddaughter Alice – who was eight at the time – which could have ended badly … very very badly. A grandmother has to be careful what she tells her grandchildren. Also, it was right up there with the BIG question … you know, the one that asks: “Is Santa real?”
This question was similar: “Grandma are fairies real?” Wweell … what was I going to answer Alice who adored fairies and had a goal in life to SEE a fairy for herself one day? She couldn’t get enough of fairies. I approached my answer with incredible caution and I answered with another question (it’s a good way of buying time folks).
Alice’s answer: “Yes”.
Grandma’s next question: “Have you ever seen Santa?”
Alice: “No, I haven’t.”
Grandma: “Well, it’s because he doesn’t want to be seen; seeing fairies is a bit like that. They don’t want to be seen. Fairies have a life all of their own and if they saw a little girl appear, they would run and hide …”
And dear friends, that answer apparently was enough, for she said:
Alice: “Oh, really grandma; you don’t think I will ever see a fairy? … but I am going to keep looking anyway.”
Grandma: “Perhaps you won’t see one Alice … but you are right, you shouldn’t stop looking for them.”
Okay folks, what else whas I going to say? Was I going to be responsible for ending the beautiful day dreams of an eight year old? No, I was not. She would come to understand the concept of fairies for herself soon enough, but in the meantime, I wanted to allow her to ‘DREAM’ … because as we know we must let children dream in order to be creative.
It’s all very well saying that we should be honest with children about everything, but I’m not a great believer in honesty at all costs. We need to teach our children about mystery and excitement. Let’s face it: REALITY is all a bit much at times and while children are little, they often do not need the brutality of reality!
So Alice and I went through a few years of discussions about fairies and other mystical creatures and it was a wonderful time. Now, she is eleven years of age, of course she knows that fairies are not real. However, it doesn’t stop her from seeing Tinkerbell movies or from still loving fairies.
Perhaps she might be like the 12-year-old Brisbane girl, Samara Wellbourne, who loves fairies and has written a book, at this tender age, called “How to Make Fairy Houses.” She runs regular workshops and also donates some of her profit to sick children. Samara says “I do like fairies because they’re very pretty,” a good enough reason to like fairies I think! And she has appeared and spoken at various bookshops (dressed as a fairy) to promote her book too.
I have to confess here that I too, like fairies. I can understand my granddaughter’s love of these gorgeous creatures. As a child I just loved the idea of having wings (just like Tinkerbell) and sprinkling fairy dust around me when the fancy took me. My ever practical mother, had no time for this sort of thing and would abide no discussion about such nonsense. Oh, I would have liked to have known my mother when she was a child … but I have to remind myself that she grew up during the Great Depression.
Maybe this is why I am so patient with my granddaughter, because I have a whimsical imagination just like she has … and as young Samara does too. I have a feeling that the book ‘How to Make Fairy Houses’ may just appear on Alice’s birthday list this year.
Together, we can make fairy houses to our heart’s content. Perhaps we will dress as fairies while we make the house as Samara and her mother do … or is that going a bit too far?? No the child in me answers: I think not!!