My friend Isabel has been posting a series of pictures of toy dinosaurs doing stuff around her house on facebook. It’s part of this Dinovember thing which is all about convincing children their dinosaurs have come to life in the night in order to inject a little bit of magic into their lives. Its a brilliant idea, although didn’t the author of Harry and the Dinosaurs invent it? I’d be keen to get involved with this except we already have fairies in our house.
I’m really keen on folklore and fairies have always interested me so when we had children it gave me the chance to really try to convince the children that they exist. Every so often, rarely enough that they don’t suspect its us, the fairies leave a small gift for a child. The eldest is always a bit sceptical, but our little girl is convinced of their existence. When we were on holiday for example, they left her a very girly flower ring. She then lost this on the beach. I spent about an hour searching for it, fortunately found it but didn’t tell her. Later that night the fairies brought it back to her. She was delighted.
It’s this sort of magic and ideas which I think are a really important part of being alive. Not just being little. The thrill of wondering if you saw a ghost, was that item really misplaced or did someone/ thing spirit it away? The connection with the earth, spirits and nature which generations before us have valued and which in this sanitised television/ celebrity lead existence seems to have vanished.
Next time you are on a walk point out magical fairy rings (mushroom circles) and consider which fairies might live amongst them. Think about superstitions and enjoy some of them, for instance its bad luck to wear new shoes on Christmas day. If you want to enjoy something practical make a soul cake. But most of all make sure some little fairies deliver a little gift or tidy up the toys occasionally, these things shouldn’t be all about ‘months’ or initiatives they should happen randomly and with love. I’m sure everyone enjoying Dinovember will hopefully realise that part of being a child is to experience wonder and part of being a parent is to facilitate that.