I mentioned in my last post that I was considering reviving a practice I had with my eldest daughter – that of writing under a supernormal persona.
With Dee, it was an elfling. I briefly considered using Iliana again, but she was special and really for my eldest. For Em, I needed a whole new persona.
In the original stories back and forth, Iliana had three fairy friends (they always come in threes, in case you didn’t know) named Pip, Squee, and K. Two sisters, and a brother. I decided to create a similar trio for Emily. And after googling Pipsqueak, I found the word Whippersnapper. Which I shortened to Whip, Snap, and Per – also two girls and a boy.
But where to put the first note? I finally settled on putting it, rolled up, on top of her new satin pillowcase last night.
Hooman Girl NAMED EM-LEE
Find us in the room of books.
“Mama! Look at this!” Emily was bubbling over with excitement. “The room of books, that has to be the library!” A moment later, “I found it! I found it!” She eagerly unrolled the slip of paper that had been tucked into a box of books…
We have been watching you from time to time.
We wish to understand you, and all hoomankind better.
Here in this room of books, is safety, luck, and more.
Will you speak with us of the hooman world? We have heard of other hooman child friendships and you seem nice, but can we trust you? Are you a friend of the fey?
Our name is Whip, Snap, and Per.
WE ARE FEY
“Oh wow,” Em breathed, her eyes dancing, “Oh, this is sooo exciting! I have to write them back this minute!”
She told me later that she had tears in her eyes, she was so excited about this adventure.
She asked a bunch of questions in her next note back, which I now cannot find (yet another reason to have all of them in one centralized spot), and I responded:
Dear Em-Lee H
Most excellent and advantageous yet prompt is your response.
Yes, we are fairies.
Whip – female, green hair, green eyes
Snap – female, red hair, greenish blue eyes
Per – male, black hair, blue eyes
Fairies come in threes. Did you ever meet Pip, Squee, or K? They live near the shed in your old house.
We are cousins.
We have questions for you:
Have you ever participated in a ritual war? Did you win?
What is your favorite food?
There was a shout of glee this morning at the discovery of this third note.
A Dose of Reality
Of course she knows it is me. Despite this, we both speak of them as if they are real. I can’t help but feel that this is our last chance at pretend, at a fantasy world that the two of us can create together, visit from time to time, and giggle over.
There are moments when I wish I had been able to have more children. A whole passel of kids, honestly. When I was just six years old I met a baby who shared my middle name – Danielle – and I could not wait to grow up and have a baby I would give that name to.
As much as she may wish to convince herself otherwise, I have always loved her and wanted the best for her. I will admit, it was very, very hard playing second fiddle to her dad for all of those years. He loved to dig at me and tell me how much she liked him and how little she liked me. It was hard.
But I did what I could, I tried to be a better parent than I had seen modeled, and to connect with her and love her. And with little Em, it is the same. How can I be a better parent? How can I be kind, yet firm, loving, yet disciplined? How do I raise another human being to be independent, introspective, action-oriented and more?
I don’t parent in a fog – every day since a few months after my 18th birthday has been filled with those questions. Each day I try and answer them as best I can.
So, why fairies? I dunno, it sounded like a good idea at the time!
Honestly, though, judging from Em’s reaction, this is JUST what she needs from me. An odd and whimsical combination of practice writing letters, fun fantasy, intrigue, adventure, bonding, learning about another race (albeit an imaginary one), and I’m sure I’ll manage to throw in some ecological and historical info into the fray as well.
A Proper Book
“I think we need to go and get a proper journal for communicating with your fairies,” I told Em this morning. The joyful look on her face said it all.
It took us some time to find the right one. We wanted a combination of leather journal, unlined pages, and the proper paper feel. It took a while. In the end, she found one she was happy with.
She drew a picture, wrote TWO letters, and has placed the book near the spot where she found the second note. I have explained to her that most fairies are nocturnal. She was disappointed to hear this, but at least now I can be sure I have the ability to retrieve, write in, and return any of her missives while she sleeps in each morning.
And who knows? As a friend on FB pointed out, “This is how JK Rowling started out!”