The Day the Magic Died.

I parked the van in the driveway and Astrid and I loaded up the day’s things to head inside. Taekwondo uniform, water bottle, wet boots, homework folder.  As we made our way up the sidewalk, she said, apropos of nothing, “I’m mad that this kid told me when I was in second grade that her mom was her tooth fairy.”

I tried to be reassuring. “Everyone learns at some point about the tooth fairy, honey. That was two years ago. Are you really still mad at her?”

“I’m not mad at her, I guess. I’m just mad that I don’t believe in it anymore. I wish I still believed in magic. I mean, someone could hand me something and call it pixie dust and I’d be, like, ‘whatever’. Not real. I want to look around and believe in fairies and other worlds and mythical creatures. But it’s all ruined now.”

My heart ached for her. “It happens to everyone, sweetheart. But if you look, there’s still a world full of magical things in ordinary stuff all around us.”

“Sure, Mom.” She was tuning me out already, but I soldiered on.

I put on my best “the world is full of magic” voice and launched into a motherly monologue:  “Look at a dandelion puff. Isn’t that pretty magical? Or the sparkles in a waterfall? Or the powdery scales on a butterfly’s wings? The world is full of amazing stuff. Look at clouds! Tiny droplets suspended in the sky!”

“They’re just water, Mom,” she said glumly as she headed inside, shutting the door a little more violently than necessary.

I noticed something flutter to the ground and I stooped to pick it up. A piece of garden moss.  I replaced it in the tinfoil pie plate Akeyla had transformed into a fairy garden at a preschool birthday party the weekend before. Jewels glittered, tiny pebbles formed a walk up to a little balsa wood hut, and a small medicine cup was filled with water in case the fairies got thirsty. Akeyla had been so concerned that the fairies wouldn’t find their new house that we’d had to whisper to all the walls to alert them to its existence. After bedtime, I reminded Matt to eat the stale Cheez-it she had broken in half – the better to fit into their tiny mouths — so that her little soul wouldn’t be crushed when she woke up and learned the fairies had failed to visit.

Note Hello Kitty television.

Note Hello Kitty television.

I replaced the pie plate on the porch table and hung my head over it, trying to breathe in the nine-inch round enchanted habitat. I noticed the sand getting damp, as mysterious drops fell from somewhere around my eyes.

Fairy rain, I’m guessing.


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About Cindy Reed

I hate pants.
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37 Responses to The Day the Magic Died.

  1. Fadra says:

    So beautiful while punching me in the gut at the same time. I still believe. I see magical things all the time and it’s more than just a dandelion puff. You just have to be open to seeing it.

  2. Cris says:

    This is beautiful. Someday she’ll see magic again. Don’t worry.

  3. Debbie says:

    Of course fairies are real. Maybe not the tooth fairy, but fairies DO exist. AS do elves, trolls, and other races of beings. Tell her they don’t interact with humans much because people are rude. Want to really convince her? Take a trip to Ireland. THe Irish will set her straight

  4. outlawmama says:

    Hey, Astrid, you don’t know this yet, but it’s pretty magical to have a mom like yours. I would have killed to have a teacher like her, much less a mom to go home to every night. One day you’ll know and you’ll believe in something even better than magic. Not sure what the word is…love, commitment, connection, grace, soul. Something. You’ll have you own word for it.

  5. Vanessa says:

    I rarely see the magic – but I like to dream it’s still out there. “Apropros of nothing” had me struggling to remember where I had seen/heard the phrase before. Finally my brain puked up the answer – Sheryl Crow’s All I Wanna Do.

  6. Cris says:

    Debbie’s got a point. If you ever want to go to Ireland, I know people.

  7. I believe! But I write about dragons, so yeah.

  8. I know exactly how she feels. I’m a realist who wishes she could see more whimsy in things. I regularly get bummed that people can’t actually live in candy houses and whatnot.

  9. Stacie says:

    I’m lucky that didn’t bother my kids. Still, I’m kind of disappointed that they don’t believe anymore for my own sake! Fairy rain, indeed! Love it.

  10. You are awesome. Thanks for giving me a little teary magic of my own.

  11. Mel says:

    Oh, bless both of your hearts. I know she will figure out the challenge to making her own magic but it sure is a tough spot for her.

  12. marcyl says:

    The little Hello Kitty tv is perfect. What a sweet little world.

  13. Dawn says:

    I want to believe in fairies, Santa Claus, and the tooth fairy too! And have someone fill a stocking full of presents for me! 🙂 Oh to be little again…

  14. about100percent says:

    You captured this bittersweet moment beautifully! I also have a child who, after confessing that she knew the truth about tooth fairy/easter bunny/santa, told me with a sad face “I wish I didn’t know. It’s fun to believe.” Her older brother found the truth without much fanfare, and he has taken the role of magic maker with me. It works for us.

  15. iasoupmama says:

    Why is it that my children’s broken hearts hurt me so much more than my own broken heart?

    These are the parts of growing up that I dread the most. Hugs, mama…

  16. Joe says:

    I’m actually a of not indoctrinating kids with these myths, but this is not the place to get into that. Nice post.

  17. Oh, my heart hurts for Astrid’s loss. Maybe some day she’ll learn to believe in those other kinds of magic.

  18. I think the fairy isle looks wonderful. I’d love to plop in that world for a while. Kind of like Jeanie’s bottle. She will come around. At some point in adulthood, most of us tap into that inner child again.

  19. Sigh, I want to still believe too, Astrid. I let myself go there any time I open a book…

  20. You made drops fall from somewhere around my eyes with this one. I hope she finds magic again somewhere.

  21. AzimeraLane says:

    Dear Sweet Astrid, pick up a copy of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and allow your mind to wonder for just a bit. I promise it will be worth it. I still do =)

  22. Growing pains can be as rough on mom as child. She’ll know magic again. After the cynicism of her adolescence leads her into being a sane adult. Try not to “embarass” her. lol Honestly, I enjoyed teenagers better than small children. It is precious to ride a broom and pretend its a pony; but teenagers can slightly update you to modern times and be really witty. Sounds like you have a smart girl. Oh, I am sending you some invisible fairy dust through the internet. Take care.

  23. I think you are making magic just by being her mom. Someday she’ll understand that. This post is so beautiful and has some fairy rain falling in my house too.

  24. Kiki says:

    This is achingly beautiful. Love.

  25. imariec says:

    I suppose you can rest hopeful that she will one day find magic again when she safely stores your grandchild’s tooth for the tooth fairy to pick up. As you said, we all go through this, and we all believe in magic again.
    For now, I’d sprinkle fairy dust around the house sporadically just to let the fairies know how to always find the house.

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