Magic is real as long as you believe… AND I DON’T


(in a park, sitting on a bench with Hank while Molly frolics)

Molly: Mama! Mamamamama Chicken, Looooook! (pointing) Fairy-dragon-butterfly!!!

Me: (noticing the dragon fly resting on a leaf in the park stream) Magia (Magic)!

Molly: (screaming with the full force of her mighty being at the fairy-dragon-butterfly) MAGIA!

Hank: (giggling)

Me: (to Hank) She is going to love the fairy door this year. Think of all the wonderful things she will learn from Paige Portensia Xanthro Sprigh.

Hank: (shoulders sink)



Me: You’re thinking rather loudly.

Hank: Mama, who is Paige Portensia?

Me: The director of Far Flung Fairies, Inc. The celestial corporation that maintains and manages our Fairy Door.

Hank: Mama, who wrote the letters?

Me: Paige Portensia.

Hank: Mama.

Me: Magic is only real…

Hank: (annoyed, interrupting) I KNOW, I know! Magic is only real as long as you believe and I don’t.

Me: Oh.

Hank: You wrote the letters?

Me: Yes.

Hank: And you took the art and left the fairy money?

Me: Guilty. (pause) Are you mad?

Hank: A little. I am a little mad. I really, really believed.

Me: And now you have chosen to stop so the magic is gone and all you have left is your silly mother who loved making the magic for you.

Hank: (deep sigh)



Me: You know, your pai (dad) hated my fairy mischief.

Hank: Really?

Me: OH yah. He hated when I painted coins with nail polish late at night because the whole apartment smelled like varnish. He also is the reason Santa never came to our house. He felt so betrayed when he stopped believing in magic. He felt lied to. Do you feel lied to?

Hank: A little. Yes, I do.

Me: I am sorry.

Hank: And you hate lying.

Me: I do, but I don’t feel that creating Paige Portensia was lying. I feel I made magic for you and for me. It was magical the look on your face, the way your heart sang because you had a door in your house where magic seeped through. It is your choice to stop believing and I respect that.

Hank: But is wasn’t real.

Me: Yes, it was.

Hank: But you did it not fairies.

Me: That doesn’t mean that magic isn’t real.

Hank: (disdain) You really still believe in magic and fairies?

Me: I do. I really do. I am being entirely sincere, because magic is real as long as I believe in it and as long as I help make magic for other people. Magic is like art. There are two ways of looking at art: one is with wonder and the other is with indifference. Those full of wonder marvel at a work of art and it moves them as only the piece can move that special, individual soul and those who live indifferent to art look at it and think, “I could have made that. What’s so special about that? How could that fetch millions of dollars?” It’s the same with magic.

Hank: I am mad, a bit, but I am more sad since I loved it all so much. I am sad it is over.

Me: But why is it over?

Hank: What do you mean? I know none of it was real!

Me: Ah, yes. I did write letters and collect your beautiful drawings and teeth, but part of the glory of magic is making it for others. And look over there at that silly, romping, little sister. You can advise me to the contrary, but I have a sneaking suspicion that she is going to love our fairy door and all the magic that you and I can make for her. That we can make together… if you wish.

Molly: (poking the creek bottom with a rather long stick, enraptured with stirring up algae)





Hank: I think I don’t know how I feel.

Me: And that is perfectly okay.

Hank: I think I am going to want her to believe. I think I still want to believe and am mad I have to grow up!

Me: But why do you have to grow up?

Hank: MOOOOOM, seriously.

Me: Oh, but I am being serious. Dead serious. Growing up is a trap. If you are 95 years old and not looking for dragons hiding in castle corners I feel epically sorry for you.

Hank: Really mom?!

Me: Truly. You can be mature, serious, own a house and a car, have children, a career and pay all your bills every month, but if you have no magic in your life, no whimsy, no delight in nonsense and far too few belly laughs I pity you. With the depths of my soul I am the richest woman I know because I still believe and therefore I live a magical life.

Hank: (harrumph)

Me: Thank you for not being too angry with me, Hank, I couldn’t bare it. And besides (putting my arm around his shoulder) we had so much fun, didn’t we?

Hank: (cracking a smile)

Me: Could you imagine your childhood any other way? Without sleeping dragons and dragon stew? Without the fairy door and magical art show profits? Without wands and bedtime stories and mischief?

Hank: No.

Me: Then be mad as long as you want, but please think about aiding in the magic of your sister’s childhood. I am pretty positive if we both contribute we can create something amazing.



Molly: MANO (brother)! MANO (brother)!!!!

Hank: Já vai (coming). (getting up to walk away but turning back) I’ll think about it, mom.

Me: Thanks, buddy.