Favorite Quotes:

Child sitting on parachute: "Don't shoot me up too high, okay?"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Power of Pixie Dust

From time to time, I take out a beautiful glass bottle that is filled with "pixie dust" and topped with a flower stopper. Whenever I do this, the children's eyes widen with anticipation. Sometimes it is sprinkled on princesses at coronation ceremonies, and sometimes it is used to create a magical path for fairies to follow.

Recently, I was doing a “Nutcracker Sweets” program, and the children were pretending to be various characters from the ballet such as sugarplum fairies, snowflakes, wooden soldiers, and dancing flowers. Pixie dust was an essential ingredient in creating the magical atmosphere. I sprinkled the snow fairies with pixie dust, and they twirled away into a land of candy canes, gumdrops, and sugared snowflakes.

At the end of the program, it was time for the children to leave their magical world, and get ready to go home, much like Clara herself. As I was making sure that the students had all of their belongings, two of the little girls approached my husband and asked him if they could have a bit more pixie dust before they left. My husband replied,

“Let’s wait for Miss Angela to finish, and then she can do it.”

One of the little pixies looked up at him and said,

“Why? Because we might turn into frogs?”

The faith that children have in possibility and their willingness to accept that magic is at work in the world is just staggering.

Children are the truest of believers, and that is one of the reasons I so enjoy working with them. Flying reindeer? Giant bunnies that deliver chocolate? Some lady that pays for kids’ teeth? Why not? They really do not know the limits of reality (lucky them) and therefore, are willing to give most ideas a chance. When it comes to children, seeing isn't believing. Believing is believing.

The frog comment reminds me of the following anecdote, which I wrote several years ago after an event:

Raising my glittering magic wand in the air, dressed in my pink, sparkly princess crown, a tiara, jewels, and glitter head-to-toe, I am tackiness personified. A prom-queen-in-pink-taffeta nightmare times ten. In the eyes of the three year-olds, I am beautiful. Tacky+sparkly+lots of pink=beautiful. Disney and Mattel figured that out a long time ago. I say to the children with excitement,

“…and now! I am going to cast a spell on you!”

I prepare to wave my wand dramatically, when a little hand shoots up.


“Will it be a good spell, or a wicked spell?”

Will it be a good spell, or a wicked spell? It sure would be nice to know ahead of time, wouldn’t it? We spend so much of our lives trying to figure out whether what’s coming our way next is good or wicked.

The little princess was prepared to accept her fate, for better or worse. We do the best we can, but some things we just have no control over.

“A good spell, sweetie,” I answer.

I raise my wand, and with a dramatic swoop, I cast the spell, secretly wishing for them a lifetime in which the good far outweighs the wicked.

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