One of my favorite parenting books is Mitten Strings for God by Katrina Kennison. Great gems are tucked into this slim volume. The overarching theme of the book is to parent with simplicity and intentionality...to join in the small natural events of your child's life rather than juggle a hectic schedule of extra-curricular experiences.
Three fairies joined our household after I read this book. Moss Pants, Mack and Sterling. They come to visit Faith and Claire. The girls know they aren't real but the fairies are a delight to our imagination. The whole family joins in creating these fairy adventures.
Mack is the papa fairy. He roars around Fairy Forest on a motorcycle made out of broken Happy Meal toys. An acorn helmet protects his little head. Moss Pants is a little boy fairy. He wears moss overalls, nibbles apple bits and rides in the sidecar of Mack's motorcycle. Sterling is the mama. She shimmers in a gossamer gown made of milkweed seed fluff. The family lives in a hole in a tree outside our sunroom. They float in the lake across the street in a milkweed pod boat. They tiptoe into our house when it is tidy. (This is a great motivator.) They search out snacks left by the girls. Miniature chocolate chips, a cranberry, bits of muffin.
The girls come running when they discover tiny letters left by the fairies. "Look, Mama. Sterling left a letter on the table! She is canning blueberries for the winter." The letters tell the story of the fairies' everyday life. Mack's motorcycle gets stuck in the mud after a heavy rain. The fairy community must battle Mr. Patch Pockets, a squirrel, who is intent on raiding their larders. Sterling has to continually repair Moss Pant's mossy overalls. Moss, while soft, is not the toughest material from which to fashion clothing.
Faith and Claire keep their letters in a basket. They treasure them. I kept this game up for a while but real life distracts and the fairy visits became infrequent. The girls were so disappointed. "The fairies haven't come in forever, Mama!" When they wrote a note saying, "Please come back! We miss you!" Lauren picked up where I left off. She has an awesome imagination. Mack tracks mud around the teacup and saucer that hold his sunflower seeds and a sip of grape juice. He leaves grease smudges on his letters. Bits of glitter fall from Sterling's dress onto the wee note she leaves behind.
This game cannot last forever. The girls will graduate to pop music and common sense. Tea parties and fairies forge sweet memories that will linger long after the door to pretend swings shut.