Every store flaunts its array of color and sparkle and pouf.
So... I was in a store, walking behind a mom and daughter.
The daughter, about age 5, was frustrated, saying "But I want to be a fairy!"
The mom, equally addled, kept handing her daughter costumes. A Pink Princessy Fairy. A Yellow Fairy dress. A Tinkerbell.
"No, Mom! A REAL fairy!"
I watched as the mom became more and more confused and desperate. "These ARE fairy costumes, dear. These are very expensive, beautiful fairy costumes. Choose one, before I lose my patience. You said you wanted to be a fairy, so be a Disney fairy!"
The girl's face fell. Mom just didn't understand. Mom was practical, realistic. Unimaginative.
"I know what a real fairy looks like," I said, smiling knowingly to the mom, as I walked past.
They both looked at me in surprise. And a bit of hope.
"Yes I do. My daughter used to play with fairies. She taught me that Real Fairies don't come from stores. They wear leaves and flowers and vines. If you want a real fairy costume, what you need is a tattered green t-shirt and some weeping willow branches. And some dandelions and daisies."
The five year old cheered. "Yes! Yes! Yes Mommy! That's what I mean!"
The mother gratefully sighed. "Thank you. That is much more affordable."
I left the store, still smiling.
Disney is great and all, don't get me wrong. But look inside your own kids' imaginations.
That's where the Real Fairies live.