Fairy Houses

By Beck

It was Midsummer’s Eve yesterday and so after the thunderstorm and the earthquake – what?! – the kids ran outside and built little hasty fairy houses before they went off to bed.

“I hope there isn’t another earthquake,” The Baby said, casually. “I don’t think my fairy house is very sturdy.”

We’d thought it was just a big truck driving by – our house frequently shakes when big trucks pass by our street – and so I didn’t even THINK that I’d felt an earthquake, even after seeing Twitter light up with people in Toronto suddenly startled by it. So I phoned my husband and he told me that he’d been in the dollar store when it hit and I realized that it HADN’T been a truck driving by at all. Dramatic!

The world turns and the world shakes. Sometimes this family I’ve built feels sturdy, made out of something permanent and solid. Sometimes it feels fragile, leaves and dew and something that the wind will blow apart.

The fairy houses stood until morning and when the kids dashed outside, barefoot in the wet grass, they found that their houses were full of shiny glass jewels and giant silver marbles and dew. And although recently I’ve been feeling sort of negative about my parenting skills in general, their sudden happiness made me feel lightened, made me feel months of weight tumbling off my shoulders. I was tired and discouraged and worried and now I feel made out of shining glass and flowers. And what did it cost me? Next to nothing – a few minutes in the evening air, a handful of marbles, fairies flying by briefly and then gone.

13 Responses to Fairy Houses
  1. LadyHash
    June 24, 2010 | 5:12 pm

    The Baby is so cute. And so are you: magical gift-giving mama.

    Every time I come to this site, I notice the picture of the woman in the right hand column and think, “Why does Beck not look like Beck when she posts over here?” It is v. confusing to me. Every. Time. Because I am a slow learner.

  2. Stacy
    June 24, 2010 | 5:13 pm

    Beautiful post, Beck.

    We felt the earthquake in Michigan too. And I didn’t realize that it was an earthquake until my coworker said something.

  3. JoAnn Hallum
    June 24, 2010 | 5:13 pm

    oh I want a fairy house! Mine needs to be full of gummy bears.

  4. Marilyn (A Lot of Loves)
    June 24, 2010 | 5:15 pm

    I love this idea. In fact I love this idea so much I think I might try to duplicate it in a couple of days…after all the kids don’t know the date.

  5. Nicole
    June 24, 2010 | 5:15 pm

    Great idea, the fairy houses, and you are a great mama.

  6. heidiannie
    June 24, 2010 | 6:34 pm

    When the earth beneath our feet is unstable, we need something to believe in.
    Children could do worse than believing in fairies.
    Adults could do worse than believing in Faery.
    Personally, I would cling to Christ and look for fairy gold in my little nature built fairy home.
    We felt it in Ohio, as well.

  7. Painted Maypole
    June 24, 2010 | 7:54 pm


    this is so sweet, but talks of earthquakes and oil spills and such make me feel so unsturdy

  8. tracey
    June 24, 2010 | 8:41 pm

    This is why I love you. Fairy houses are meant to be filled with jewels and marbles. Your children are lucky to have you, you know.

  9. Becky
    June 25, 2010 | 9:33 am

    Every time I remember what a clever and creative mother I was I read something here and feel a failure. Ha! Just kidding. Not a failure really, but perhaps really ready to try again with a grandchild. I love your fun mothering. You are making some terrific memories.

  10. Hannah
    June 25, 2010 | 6:38 pm

    Love this idea, Beck. Good for you! And you know what, I have lots of those moments (the negative ones you mentioned) and I think part of it is that when we homeschool, we just spend lots more time with our kids, so we have more of both the good and the bad. We’re just aiming for a net positive!

  11. Susanne
    June 27, 2010 | 11:19 am

    Love, love, love this post Beck! You captured how I felt a lot when my kids were smaller!

    BTW, I always think the same thing as “LadyHash” about the picture of the person who is not Beck on Beck’s post. It always throws me for a minute. LOL.

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