the valentine fairy
I’m going to tell you a little secret.
I’m the Valentine Fairy. I’m not quite as creepy as the above picture, but close.
Kind of like finding out who Deep Throat is, isn’t it?
Every year, the Valentine Fairy came to our house after dinner. That is, if certain conditions were met. First, the kids had to eat all their dinner. Second, they had to close their eyes while the fairy flew in and flittered around the table, dropping goodie bags in front of all participants.
The festivities would start with me saying, “Dad, did you hear something?”
“Why I believe I did. Something like…wings.”
Then I would madly scramble into the other room and call, “Close your eyes kids! The Valentine Fairy’s shy! If you see her, she won’t leave any chocolate!” And the little dears would dutifully squeeze their eyes shut with little smirks playing on their lips. Didn’t matter whether they were 3, 13 or 23. Because by jiminy, they wanted chocolate.
The fairy came in rattling mysterious sacks and flapping her wings, which sounded suspiciously like long, empty sleeves being whipped in a rapid fashion. Sometimes she even beat her wings in certain sour teen-agers’ faces, or left a feather in a younger child’s hair. The fairy sashayed around the table, dropping bags of chocolates and trinkets at everyone’s place while I described her pink fluffy hair and red tights and flashing heart earrings. (The look changed every year.) All too soon she was gone, leaving cards, candy, and a little magic.
My kids loooved the Valentine Fairy. Number one, their friends were fabulously jealous. There wasn’t another family in the whole school getting a visit from the fairy.
But I think the biggest reason was that I made no attempt to pretend that the Valentine Fairy was real. It was a game that our family played, and the kids knew it from day one. There wasn’t any pressure to make themselves believe something outrageous, like some guy living at the north pole or a rabbit dying eggs. The little nippers could relax and pretend along with their parents without wondering if we were nuts.
And of course, there was a whole. Lot. Of candy.