Despite the fact that Cam is still in the pretend writing phase (also known as role-play writing/mock-handwriting/scribbling phases), she’s taken such a fancy to write. This early phase of writing is important, and I’m keen for her to remain enthusiastic about it. I was so happy that another prompt for purposeful writing came our way: writing letters to fairies. It doesn’t matter that Cam can’t form her letters yet. What matters is that she feels like her writing has a meaning, purpose, and an audience.
I was a lot older than Cam when I started receiving letters from fairies, but I have fond and vivid memories of them. I remember arguing until I was blue in the face, with some boys in my Grade 4 class, that fairies were real. They were the same boys who tried to tell me that Santa wasn’t real.
Introducing Cam to fairies has always been something I knew I wanted to do eventually. I just didn’t know when the right opportunity would arise.
We were recently invited to attend a pre-screening of Tinkerbell and the Secret of the Wings. I personally loved the film for my little Cam; it’s girly and cliché but it’s also wholesome and sweet. You can view the film as having a simple storyline, or you can look for deeper messages within it: Believing there are other creatures and worlds beyond yours, looking at the world around you differently, and knowing you can be the change that needs to take place.
Rather than the storyline, it was the small visual details (bookworms that nibble on the pages of books, using leaves as paper and paperclips as ice skates that Cam and I enjoyed most about the film. These are the small details that can open up a world of imagination, magic, and wonder for children. They begin to ask questions.
Since seeing the movie, Cam has asked all types of fairy-related questions:
- What happens to their wings when fairies go to sleep?
- Do fairies sleep with their wands?
- What do fairies eat for breakfast?
The opportunity seemed to have arrived for us. Faced with questions I couldn’t answer, I decided to kick-start Cam’s relationship with fairies.
The letter was created using some of the little details we spotted in the movie. The letter was written on a leaf and was held together by a paperclip:
As is her usual routine, Cam checked her letterbox before entering her cubbyhouse. Immediately she called out to me, “I’ve got a letter. I think it’s from the fairies. What does it say?”
Daddy was home, so he had the honour of reading the letter to Cam:
When Cam opened her card, this is what she saw (Tinkerbell had appeared in the shot when the photo was ‘processed’):
She couldn’t quite believe that Tinkerbell was in the photo. “I didn’t see her,” she said.
And that was all she needed. Like most little girls she’s always loved the idea of fairies, but now she thinks about them more deeply.
Firstly, she ‘needed’ to write a letter back to Tinkerbell. “I need to write a letter on a leaf because fairies live in the garden.” I offered to lend her my special metallic pen:
I love you very much. I liked your movie. I thought you were allergic (I think Cam meant to write invisible). You are lucky to have a sister. I love you a lot. Would you like to be my friend? Do you sleep with your wand? I love you.
I love you very much. You are a nice sister. I liked your movie. Do you live in the garden? I love you. Can I see your movie again? Can you come to my house? I love you.
Cam decided to leave her letters in our fairy garden (I wish ours looked like this Gnome Garden though):
Each day since, Cam has spent time out in the garden, creating some new features for the fairies: mountains, ponds and rocks.
Now we’re just waiting for the fairies to respond. Cam says they’ll come in the night.