Sometimes the Answer is No

conversations with hank

(Hank was away this weekend at his friend Irina’s house and when they returned they needed to speak to the fairies who attend our Magical Fairy Door, specifically Paige Portensia Xanthro Sprigh, Director of Far Flung Fairies, Inc.  We called her at home, because Hank and Irina had spent the weekend making them paper cellphones and were hoping the fairies could enchant them and would be willing to pay upwards of €30 a piece for their creations. Hank woke up to find this letter waiting for him.)


The Night in November that marks the Twenty-ninth Day
In the year two thousand and fifteen

Dearest Hank,

Imagine my glee when I returned home to find your message hanging on the wind just above my mantle fire. I have not heard from you in such a long time and your house sounded lively and your spirits high so I planned a simple meal and sat in front of my fire, warm and content until you house fell into slumber.

The air in your town was electric and the roar of drums was so powerful it was hard to surface in the human world with the Festa de Pinheiro raging outside. What a magical night and so rich with history, born of a time when fairy folk and your kind lived in harmony. Days my grandfather spoke of his grandfather missing. Oh, to have the world that way again would be such a gift!

And when I entered through your door I was thinking exactly this when I spied your gift for the Fae, although well intended not at all something we need.

My kind need nothing of technology. We have magic and nature and love and a connection to the earth so much so that no cellphone can ever be enticing a fairy. I thank you for your intention and see how hard you worked, I value your craftsmanship and I do love the designs on the rear face of the phones, but neither myself nor my friends would ever need such a thing.

We Fairies delight in acorn caps and river rocks, thistle down and mica, egg shells and milkweed pods, sea glass and laughter. We do not need material things. Yes, we love your art: the kind you draw with your heart and your imagination. We love to share in your passions and your stories. These things have real value to us, but we find the human’s obsession with gadgets silly when your time could be better spent counting the colors in a sunset or looking for four leaf clovers, sowing seeds or spying elephants in clusters of clouds.

Thank you for your invitation to your home. I so enjoy stepping through this door and almost always marvel at what I will find, but I was not dazzled by these gifts, although well made. I have left them for you and your friends to find better homes for them.

Please do not hesitate to call in the future. Give my best to your friends Irina and Mariama and a big kiss to your little Muggy, Amália Sofia.


Paige Portensia Xanthro Sprigh
Hollow’s Grove
Fairy Realm, International


Don’t Hate the Player Hate the Game

(fostering Molly’s new found love of dancing by watching music videos)

Me: (reading)

Hank: Why?

Me: Why what? (looking up from my book)

Hank: Why are these girls dressed like that? I don’t understand?

Me: Dressed like what… (noticing) Oh.

Hank: I don’t understand in videos when girls have to be all… in those clothes and dancing like that and the boys never are. I don’t get it. Like right now. (ladies, dressed provocatively, dancing to catch the eye of the male musician)

Me: It’s called objectifying women and it is disrespectful and a big problem. Thank you for noticing.

Hank: It’s like remember that girl who was naked in the construction… Miley Cyrus. She didn’t have to be naked. I would have listened to her with her clothes on.

Me: (wide eyed)

Hank: Not all girls act like that.

Me: Don’t hate the player hate the game.

Hank: What?

Me: Think about it.

Hank: Don’t hate the player…

Me: The player doesn’t make the rules they just follow them in order to win the game.

Hank: But this (gesturing to the video) isn’t a game.

Me: Isn’t it?



Hank: (frustrated) See! Look at Adele! (Adele’s Hello video starts playing) She is wearing lots of clothes and I still want to listen to her and she is beautiful.

Me: I hear you, Hank.

Molly: (clapping, baby dancing and cooing along)




conversations with hank


Me: Alfredo, where is the vaccine?

Pai: In my pocket. Here, you hold on to it for safe keeping.

Hank: We have the vaccine?

Me: We have one of three vaccines Molly will get today. The other two are provided under our solidarity tax.

Pai: We all pay taxes to cover our country’s healthcare cost so that healthcare is available to all.

Me: And your Pai (dad) and I choose to buy some elective vaccines for Amália as well.

Hank: So she doesn’t get sick.

Pai: So that she grows to be immune to certain illnesses.

Me: Hank, I want you to see something. (flashing the vaccine box and it’s price tag towards the backseat of the car). Can you see how much this costs?

Hank: €59.48. Wow.

Pai: We’ve paid more.

Me: There was one vaccine that the enfermeira (nurse) gave that Molly had to drink that cost €100 and the child right before us threw it up all over the mother.

Hank: Gross!

Me: What I mean by showing you the cost of this vaccine is to illustrate how very blessed we are that we have the option to purchase this vaccine. This is a gift we are giving Ms. Molly McGoo.

Molly: (cooing out the window)

Me: Because of vaccines there are illness that you or I have not had to worry about such as: Mumps, Rheumatic Fever, Meningitis, Polio and many more. Did you know that the man who invented the Polio vaccine, Jonas Salk, dedicated years and years to developing the life saving vaccine and then after he gave it away to the world for free.

Pai: Unlike the laboratory that developed the vaccine your mother is holding.

Hank: Like the man who invented the Internet. Papa, did you know A MAN invented the Internet?

Pai: You’re thinking of Tim Berners-Lee. He didn’t invent the Internet but the World Wide Web, it took many engineers to create the technology that makes the World Wide Web work but yes, Tim Berners-Lee created the system that is what you know as the Internet and then gave it to the world.

Hank: What is Polio?

Me: It is a grave, contagious illness that attacks the body and causes your muscles to weaken and you need your muscles to breathe and laugh and blink and walk and well… everything.

(collectively getting out of the car at the health center)

Hank: (holding my hand) I am really lucky and I am really happy Amália is getting vaccines.

Me: Me, too. That is why I wanted all of us to come this morning so we can thank the doctor and the enfermeira (nurse) and hold Molly’s hand because getting shots is hard, but living without the vaccines is harder.

Hank: I will teach her the trick: you hold your breath and close your eyes and count to ten all at the same time…

Me: And when you’re done it is all over.

Hank: That is what you taught me and it works, only she doesn’t count yet. (concerned)

Me: That is why we will hold her hand and go through it with her. It will be scary, but only for a few minutes and together we will show her how to be brave.

Pai: (positioning her to fly through the health center doors) Amália The Brave!

Hank and I together: Amália The Brave!

Molly: (delighted)