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In which we believe in make-believe

I mourn Fairyland. 

I mourn for the ones that will never know the magic of playing mermaids by an old lake shore, drawing out elaborate sagas of the life aquatic on the rocky beach, slipping in and out of water, convinced of a glittery tail. For the fairy dances in the starlight, for the bonfire sparks that conjure magic-seeking-eyes and bellows of “ABRA-CADABRA!”

I mourn for the loss of the words dryad and pixie. For the loss of the every-day magic of lucky horseshoes, fables, folk tales, Santa Claus and starry-eyes dancing in the twilight of an old field, convinced that it is a palace hall.

I mourn for make-believe.  For those that aren’t climbing mountains or conquering kingdoms or making rocket ships out of cardboard boxes. For those that can’t keep themselves busy without something in hand or step-by-step-for-having-fun-instructions to follow.

It’s a very real world these days. (And the parts that aren’t real are the wrong kind of make-believe –  video game war or social media playtime.) We live with the dust of reality clinging to our dreams, weighed down and far from delight and wonder, entrenched in boredom or quiet desperation, bad news and tragedy.

And then there are those of us of a faith-y kind of thing, the ones that don’t want to tell fables and fairytales because then what if it makes our kids think that Jesus is like Santa Claus?

So we keep small ones tied to a sober path – either on purpose or on circumstance – dealing only in
cold
hard
facts.

Facts be damned. (Even though it seems that the facts are rather on the side of make-believe.)

But the fact is this: you only get to believe – really truly believe – in Fairyland for a short time. Only children know the way (I can go a bit down the path by memory – if I try hard to forget that I have a mortgage) and as long as they have the way clear, oh, send them down that path with peace. Even if they didn’t develop problem solving skills, imagination, creativity, social skills and critical thinking (but they do) though make-believe, they’d still be having fun.

Remember fun? Fun just for the sake of having fun.

Let them have make-believe, let them have fairies and dryads, magic spells and mermaids, legends and folk talks, queens and princesses, warriors and poets (aren’t poets make-believe? they don’t really exist anymore, do they?) for as long as their birthright allows. Unplug and send them to the borders of freedom.

The farther I get from my childhood, the more thankful I am for the magic, for adult eyes that somehow still see everyday wonder with gratitude started in small faces.

I’m out walking with my tinies and we’re in the forest. I say, “Keep an eye out for fairies. This forest feels enchanted.”

And just like that - their eyes light up. See? They have the soul passport firm in hand still, those kids-these-days.

Magic.

Image source.

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faith, parenting, tinies
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