It seems like I walk a treacherous road trying to pass on a Catholic faith to my girls. We have to respect the differing beliefs of people in our family, and our own home. And we have to work with wild, “overexcited” imaginations. Fairies really throw me off, because I like them, and I really enjoy how my kids enjoy them, and I think the Waldorf people understand something that I can’t quite express about childhood magic.
Violet is old enough to handle some ambiguity, though she throws herself fully into Santa and fairies and such like when the time is right. Victoria hasn’t quite mastered that — either they are pretend, or they are not, and she goes back and forth between those views.
Today as Victoria was working on her fairy garden, she was in full fledged fairy mode, so much that I wondered whether to offer a gentle reminder that fairies are pretend. She made their pathway through the garden in a cross shape. I commented, in the spirit of the proceedings, “Oh, a cross shape, that’s lucky.”
“Yeah, because fairies love God, right?” she answered.
Ummm, well, “Of course they do!” I answered, not wanting to put fairies and God on the same plane, yet not wanting to close down her young love of magic either. I fell down on the side of affirming her imagination.
I find it hard to judge people who root out magic and fairies from their children’s lives, either in the interest of maintaining a religious faith or, what people imagine to be the opposite, to keep their children firmly rooted in physical reality. Still, I could never do that in a million years. That fleeting space of children’s wonder is too precious, and it is such an exquisite pleasure — and daunting responsibility — to get to experience it again as an adult.