Saturday, January 10, 2009

What kind of fairy are you?

It occurred to me that I've believed in fairies my whole life. I hate to admit it. Fairies have a bit of silly reputation. But when you see it again through a six-year-olds-eyes, well, it's made me re-think my "history" with fairies.

I grew up with godparents who always referred to themselves as my fairy godparents. For many years, in my youthful innocence, I had an image of my godmother flying with a magic wand like that one from Disney's Cinderella. Then, when I was about four or five, I was in a little red schoolhouse where my friend, D's mom, worked when (i'll swear on anything) I saw a leprechaun, a real leprechaun, sitting up in the corner of the room by the celing. To this day, I repeat that story because I know it happened and I just can't believe it happened, at the same time. Then there's the one about the butterfly that followed me while I went bike riding down a long Neenah, Wisconsin road. And I was convinced that butterfly was my mom's sister, Betty, who'd passed away. We were having a family picnic that day at the house they all grew up in.

So, bringing it to the present day: About three months ago now, one of the kids at school, brought in about six different ziplock baggies for morning share. Inside each baggie was a little smattering of glitter. She wanted us all to see her collection of fairy dust. One of the boys said they didn't know that fairies were real...and our fairy expert yelled back, "Oh, they're real! They're real! I know it! They visit me!" Well, this bold statement would not go overlooked! So, over the next week, the fairy letters started pouring in. Our little fairy-factoid-giver shared with us all how she left little houses in the garden for the fairies, and food treats, and maybe a a strange object (as some sort of sacrifice? testing what it is fairies really like?... as it turns out, these random objects left for the fairies become a great focus for the kids, always aiming to make the fairies happy: maybe we should leave them a rose petal? oh my gosh! Fairies like seaweed! We left some for them and they left us a note!...but I'm jumping ahead of myself here...). Then, the next morning, or a few days later, she would check back in the very spot she left something out for the fairy and there would be a note! Or, a little flower! Or, some fairy dust!

This rock-solid confirmation that fairies were real was like setting a fire in a dry forest. The girls, and a couple of the boys, in our first grade class are now consumed with fairy visits. They've constructed elaborate houses out of cardboard boxes and left them the random objects I mentioned above, and notes upon notes upon notes. Wanting to keep this belief alive, my co-teacher, PS, and I have taken on the job of being the responding fairies at school. They all still have home fairies, which are different than the ones that visit us at school. Recently, a few of them left notes hidden in their houses. I had told PS that I would get the notes and respond (she had done it the last time, and me, the time before's gonna be a turn-taking thing).

In the morning, I get there extra early to sneak in with the notes from the fairies and hide them in their spots, with a little extra glitter sprinkled in and maybe a little sparkly tied ribbon... When they get there, they run to the houses and find the notes. Pulling them out, asking us what they say, we've got to pretend we're reading them for the first time. I usually stumble on a word or two or ask them what their original note said to the fairy. Watching them jump up and down and get all excited, it makes me think, 'why couldn't there be fairies everywhere?'

And then you've got your modern day, grown-up version fairies, as in "wow! it's like the fairies came and visited me!" That's what you might say if one day, out of the blue, a box arrived in the mail and inside were three homemade goodies from the garden master herself!
One of the very best jars contained sun dried tomatoes. Probably one of my favorite foods. I've eaten them for longer than I can remember and I've never had them like this. Originally, I had thought I would fill the jar with olive oil and herbs and eat them they way I knew how. I'm SO glad I didn't! Their freshness and sweetness is so intense, it's like they're right off the vine. Every bit of flavor you could attribute to a fresh tomato is in these little bits.
So, yes, I feel like the fairies have visited me once again.


Molly said...

Hi, stumbled across your blog - love this post about the fairies, my Mum and her friend used to do the same for us when we were kiddies, answer our notes to fairies and leave us little gifts. It meant SO much to me, and still does. And is I think why I do still believe in fairies - what's not to love about them?!
Loving the rest of your blog too, in danger of getting really sucked in when I'm supposed to be working - I'm going to visit later for a good read - and I was about 6 posts in when I realised you're also Molly! What a lovely name ; )

Maggie May said...

this is a fantastic post. i have a lifelong love of fairies- as a child i had tens of books about them, their habits, habitats, etc. it's part of me.

Ellen Zachos said...

I swear, no one has ever called me a fairie before! So glad you liked the tomatoes, you earned them!

Castle in the Air said...

Wonderful blog. I am enjoying it so much.
What a beautiful life.
Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

love,love,love this post! when my son was a small boy we would leave offerings for the fairies in the tiny garden we had. on the full moon a wee dish of milk would be left out. when my son started school,he told his classmates of the fairies that lived in the garden and to my horror his teacher told him to stop telling stories and that fairies were not real! i told my son that some adults have lost the ability to believe and that he should treat the teacher kindly,but never to give up what you believe in.

hmstrjam said...

we love faries!!

Costume Diva said...

This is my first time visiting- and I love this post! Faries were a huge part of my childhood and I spent many summer afternoons wandering my yeard looking for "fairie spots."