She works quietly, carefully crafting the perfect place – a place to call home.
Just moments before she combed through drawers and cabinets – deliberately choosing exactly this and exactly that. Suggestions weren’t welcome; she had it all planned out.
I wrap my hands around my warm mug and breathe in the steam rising from my latte as I watch her draw the sign – the final touch. “Welcome Fairies” – a simple message, but powerful in the mind of a six-year-old girl.
“Do you think the fairies will like the house I made them?”
“I think it’s the perfect house for the fairies, sweet girl.”
“But do you think they will come?”
“I sure hope so. You really thought of everything a fairy could ever need.”
She furrows her brow and stares out the window at the hazy grey sky as she considers my words. Had she thought of everything? Was anything missing?
“Liam doesn’t think fairies are real but I do. Do you think they’re real, Mommy?”
She looks up me, anticipation lining her giant espresso colored eyes – the perfect shade of brown.
“I think that sometimes you just have to believe. Remember when we talked about heaven and guardian angels? Sometimes when you believe in good things, good things have a way of happening.”
“Yeah, Mommy. It’s like Elfie. We believe in him and he’s our friend.”
“That’s right, Riley. Sometimes you just have to believe.”
Satisfied, she begins a running commentary of the importance of the fairies. The fairies, it seems, are responsible for the changing of the seasons. They paint the ladybugs and butterflies. They melt the snow and plant the tulips. They even teach the baby birds to fly.
Her eyes grow wider and her voice gains strength with each bit of information she shares. Before long, she hops onto my lap and breathes a huge sigh of relief. She created the perfect fairy house. She told the story the she needed to tell. And she remembered to just believe.
All that’s left to do is wait.
So she waits. Later, she slips off to bed with thoughts of fairies and painted butterflies.
“I hope they find the house, Mommy. I really hope they find it.”
Me too, I think, me too.
Later that night, Sean and I cross paths for a moment. He eyes the fairy house with curiosity.
“It’s for the fairies – she’s hoping they might stop here while she sleeps. She knows she won’t see them. Apparently they’re very small. She has it all figured out.”
We exchange smiles and hugs as I head off to bed and he settles in to unwind after a long day of music.
We all sleep through and, before long, Liam crawls into the bed. Riley isn’t far behind. And so it begins again.
We make our way downstairs – the kids in a sprint while I lag behind. Squeals of joy inspire me to pick up this pace.
“A fairy came! A fairy came! I just knew it! We have to wake up Daddy!”
Her smile extends across her face as she jumps up in down. Liam stands next to her and peers into the house – at last he believes.
“How do you know? Did they leave a note?”
“No, silly Mommy! Fairies don’t leave notes! This peanut shell is OPEN! They ate a peanut! And look – it looks like a fairy slept on the pillow! It didn’t look like that yesterday. I knew it! I just knew they were real! It’s like you said – I just had to believe it.”
I peek into the house to see that, sure enough, the peanut was eaten and the pillow creased.
The three of us hug and cheer and enjoy this early morning discovery. And then, in a moment of quiet, I send a silent thank you up to my sleeping husband.
Thank you, sweet Sean, for making our sweet little Riley’s dream come true. Thank you for believing in the power of belief.