The Peanut believes in Fairies. Hard. In fact the Peanut believes that she is a fairy. Possibly their erstwhile ruler banished long ago because of some horrible bureaucratic oversight. This belief was implanted by her mother, the Aunties in Maine, and me. There have been fairy houses built from shoe boxes and birch bark and love (you need a glue gun for the love part) hidden in dappled glens in the nearby Maine woods. Gifts left and found and reciprocated at sacred stumps in the light of a full moon. Notes written in the strange language of the Fae folk. Use of the phrase "Fae folk." We really go overboard. We encourage this belief in part because she is so tiny, so mercurial, so ethereal in her way that not only is it appropriate, we hope it's good for a little confidence too. Maybe it'll give her a bulwark against always being the smallest. "I may be the smallest kid in class but eventually I'll be able fuck your shit up magic style, so it's all good." Or something to that effect.
Eventually because the deal is, she's not a fairy yet. She's got fairy blood sure, but to become an actual fairy takes years of training. Years of studying things like wood craft and fishing, reading and writing, math and science, wild edibles, swimming, and flying. It takes eating your fruits and vegetables and being nice to your brother. It takes being kind to animals. It takes a lot of manipulative parental bullshit.
But she believes now. She'll often tell you she can, "fly for one second" before jumping in to the air and flapping her arms like a hummingbird. She'll ask you to touch her ears sometimes and then ask if you can "feel how they're getting pointier." Joke's on her when she graduates from college with a Forestry degree and an entire wardrobe of bedazzled camouflage only to realizes the only magic power she has is the ability to apply for a job at Starbucks.
We're up in Maine with the Aunties this past weekend, and one of them has her pockets full of little plastic canisters of glitter. Gold and purple. As we walk in the woods she is wandering ahead and sprinkling it around as proof there are fairies about and that they have taken an interest in our party because of the Peanut. The Peanut takes this as pretty much a matter of course.
About half way through our walk, the Auntie entrusts me with fairy dust sprinkling duty and hands the glitter over to me. I do the thing. At one point we come to a playground and the slide looks like the dregs of a hellacious fairy after party. I have a heavy hand.
When we get back to the house I realize that one of the canisters has popped open in my pocket. I reach my hand in and when I pull it out it looks like I'm a fairy serial killer or there's been a huge fairy gang bang going on in my pocket and no one thought to clean up. Or maybe I've just been smuggling undocumented fairies over the border.
I hide this fact from the Peanut. We have a lovely dinner. During the evening there are a couple of song and dance numbers, a lot of laughs, and a sudden and severe melt down from the Peanut that results in a premature bedtime. She just stopped listening and when I called her on it, she freaked out like a vampire being dragged into the sun. She hissed and spit as I carried her down stairs. Told me how horrible I was. How it was the "worst night of her life." To do that to her on vacation with the Aunties --put her to bed early with her screaming about the indignity of it all, growling about how much she didn't love me, how she would never love me again-- was sucky. Very. But necessary. She was really acting like a shit head, she was warned several times, and if you can't lay the smack down during the times when it sucks most to do it, then you're a punk. I guess.
The next morning we woke up early and decided to head to the nearest Dunkin Donuts. It was real early and we wanted coffee and we didn't want the kids waking up the entire house and maybe we can throw them a couple of munchkins by way of making up. It's about a 20 minute drive.
The Dunkin is on the main drag inside a gas station. There is all manner of gruff, craggy, crusty Mainer, standing outside their gruff, craggy, crusty pickup trucks, gassing up and getting coffee before heading off to work. I pull up to the pumps to get gas before coffee and a few sets of eyes track the car, note the Mass license plate, mildly deride the presence of such at their pre-work oasis. I don't blame them. I exit the car resplendent in my Columbia zip up fleece and I begin to fuel up. I reach into my pocket to pull out my wallet and the glitter from the day before explodes everywhere. I had forgotten all about it. It looks like glitter is spraying out of my ass, onto the pump, my pants, the ground, the countryside. I am a sparkly ass fountain of fairy dust at 7:00 in the morning at a gas station deep in the north country. Not one of those Mainers says one Goddamn word, but I know they saw. And I know later the conversation went, "Sweah to Gawd, This guy gets out of his Subaru, and glittuh stahts explodin' out his ahss! T'went all ovuh the pump n' everything. Goddamn Mahssholes. Even their ahhssholes are decorated."
On the bright side, I'm pretty sure this means I'm part fairy, too. So that's something.
The Peanut saw the glitter emanating from my body cavity and when she asked about it, we told her that it must have been her presence. Her magic must've put it there. Now I enjoy a daily bout of sudden giggles interrupted by a delighted "Remember when I put glitter in daddy's butt?"