fairy houses

May 27, 2013

my first born has been convincing herself for a few months
that she is slowly transforming into a fairy (the winged magical variety)
she has me feel the bumps of her spinal column
and says that they are wing buds starting to grow
then she flaps her arms and slowly rises on her tip toes
saying: see i am staying up just a little bit
i am floating – i feel lighter!
then she talks about the different abilities she may develop
and what her responsibilities as a fairy might be
we have also had a lengthy discussion
about whether or not she is shrinking
and the benefits of being able to ride around in my pocket
verses the cons of how hard it would be to hug something so small

all of this has led to some great imaginings
secret spaces in neighborhood bushes
hung with tiny treasures and shiny things
ladybug searches and the climbing maple
strung with breezy pieces of colored strings
tip-toe walking and spinning dances
inspired by dreams of fairy wings

but what i really want to share is this:

i was drained and depressed
just felt like i had nothing to give – a zombie dad
when my daughter came, handed me a bucket and said:
Dad, we’re going to build a fairy house.
i was horrified – this sounded so involved, so daunting;
the kind of thing that if you go online
you find pictures of whimsical detailed creations
made by crafty over achieving über-parents
an intimidating (impossible) feat of engineering on the best day.
but it wasnt! and thats why i’m writing this
because this was a completely child-led sweet little project
for even us normal (exhausted, overwhelmed) parents.
all i had to do was be present
and all i had to give was some time
(in fact my few design ideas went unused)
my biggest contribution was as a beast of burden.
i just shuffled along as
we walked around the neighborhood with our buckets
collecting whatever struck our fairy fancy…
i was just thinking tiny flowers
but my daughter was collecting all kinds of stuff
from wild strawberries growing in the mown grass
(for a special fairy salad she was making to entice them)
to construction material from a pile of trash
(we did not disturb anyone’s landscaping)
she would come back and take my hand and lean her head against me
i just watched her imagination swirl,
let her lead and received her love (all gifts to me).
—–so you need something to do with a kid?
—–let me recommend Fairy Houses.

faerie shrine with salad

now she builds completely on her own
and constantly has her eye out for
discarded fairy stuff to use during construction
she sets out fairy food (berries, etc)
and checks to see if any go missing
(i am always hoping the birds eat it and add to this good game)
she would deeply love for faeries to be real
for one to take up abode in her creations
to become one herself…
but she knows that they are not
that that is not what this is all about;
for now it is just a great pretend…
and really fun to choose to believe that soon
we might learn to fly.

i want to thank my daughter
for sharing a little of that fairy magic
and for changing my day.

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7 Responses to “fairy houses”

  1. bussokuseki Says:

    My daughter (10) loves to do this as well – I find it incredibly endearing and love to be with her when we make them. You and your daughter might be interested in: http://bit.ly/16lseLH

    Be well~

  2. V. Kathleen Hameister Says:

    Tabitha and I read this together, laughing & tearing up at such a sweet wonderful father daughter experience! Love you all so very much! P.S. Tabitha wants to build a fairy house now :)

    • Shawn Says:

      well something has been eating her salads… and a ladybug the girls caught escaped – it must be fairies.

      i’m glad you all are reading and liked the story.
      if Tabitha does make a house please send us a photo (one with her in it) – H. would be crazy for that.

  3. Jimmy Says:

    Finally, a place for me to stay when I am there.

  4. Lindsey Says:

    This is… awesome. (I want to quote Macklemore from the Thrift Shop song here, which is probably entirely inappropriate.) I can’t wait to help with the construction! Heck, what am I doing here! I’M COMING OVER.


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