Just before bedtime the other night, seven-year-old Sydney left a note on her whiteboard to her favorite fairy, Fiona (Queen of the Fairies). I walked past and read, “Dear Fiona, I really really want to fly. Can you please give me wings? I love you, Sydney.” Fiona has been leaving notes on the board as well as with surprises beside a tiny “fairy door” mounted on the wall in Sydney’s closet for about three years. It has been a source of comfort to Sydney and insight for me.
Once more, I have assumed the persona of Fiona, and answered Sydney’s latest query. “Dear Sydney, You already have wings! All you have to do is think, and the ‘wings’ inside your head can take you anywhere. Magic is all around you everywhere. If you read, walk, look, listen, and imagine, your thoughts will fly. With love from your fairy, Fiona”
The next morning, Sydney sat looking at Fiona’s words. She said, “Are there really wings in my brain?” Between scrambled eggs and toast, we talked about how figurative language explains a lot of ideas. She has a great imagination like most children, and spends hours pretending and inventing places and situations. Story books are perfect examples, so when we discussed the language and imagery in Harry Potter, Amelia Bedelia, A Wrinkle in Time, and others, Sydney understood that figurative language can make her see the meaning of thoughts or get a point across. It can ‘fly’ her to other worlds. She grinned and said “You mean figurative language is like “There’s a geranium in your cranium,” or “The cat’s got your tongue,” or “Hop to it!” when you tell me to do homework? Examples came rushing out with a lot of laughs. Then I said, “I heart you! Get it?” She understood exactly!
Now, while we look at how we spend our time during our social distancing, we can enjoy all that reading does to unfurl those wings in our brains and fly us to places we haven’t visited in years. Have a great flight!