On Fairy Tales and Child’s Play

Every man’s life is a fairy tale written by God’s fingers.
Hans Christian Andersen

Have you ever observed the frenetic play of a toddler? It’s like watching a squirrel hopped up on pixie sticks and speed, jumping and twitching from one harried activity to the next, the physical manifestation of unlimited energy and determination.

As a child grows older, that same unharnessed spirit that pushed the toddler to run faster, climb higher and leap further sends out shoots of joy that find root in the fertile soil of the her mind and her heart.

All of a sudden, the child who was diving off the couch without an approved flight plan is dipping his fingers into his dreams and fingerpainting with his imagination. He comes up for air saturated with stories, consumed with invention. His body exists in this world while his soul is in another, more fantastic place. He rules his realm, becomes the hero, and befriends the dragon.

This is child’s play.

This is a fairy tale.

This is life written by the fingers of God.

……….

Once upon a time, I met Rachel, the visual artist behind Fawn and Feather, because she generously offered to help me (and you!) out of a creative jam.

Then, a little while ago, Rachel asked if she could photograph my children at play. I yelled, “YES!” so loud that it drowned out the more polite but WAY less gratifying urge to be socially appropriate and say, “No, no. I couldn’t possibly.”

Rachel asked me to tell her about my kids. Who they are. What makes them tick. And then she came over and drew my kids’ hearts using her camera, her insight, and her magic.

This is the beginning of their Fawn and Feather fairy tale:

And you can find the whole, amazing fairy tale adventure here, at the Fawn and Feather website.

While you’re there, do check out Rachel’s other amazing work with a crowd of stellar photographers. And if you leave Rachel a kind comment or three? Well, that would be the icing on the cake, because sometimes it just does a heart good to know that your labor of love made someone smile.

……….

Thank you, Rachel. My children are in these pictures, but so is your heart. After all,

Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale of all.
Hans Christian Andersen

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
6 comments
  1. This is amazing. And what a wonderful experience for your kids! My daughter writes and illustrates her own stories and wants to be a best selling author one day. I wish you could bottle childhood enthusiasm and take a swig of it when, as an adult, you sometimes have more limitations in your head than imagination 🙂

    1. I so agree, Kasia! Sometimes, I think my kids hold that bottle to my lips, and I just have to remember to stop “doing” long enough to be in the enthusiastic moment with them. I’m so grateful for people who have gifts like Rachel’s to create a permanent record. It sounds like your daughter has a similar gift and the blessing of a mama who cherishes her for it.

  2. Oh, now that’s just plain stinkin’ awesome. Awesome! And that’s about all the words I have for it…other than I want one, too!

  3. That was awesome! I actually teared up a little. What a great idea, I love it! Is there a way you can actually print it for your kids?

    1. Thanks, Angie. And YES! Rachel hooked me up with everything I need to print it all.

      We also read it off of the Fawn and Feather site last night for our family bedtime story – the kids’ eyes were HUGE to see themselves written into a fairy tale. We tell “once upon a time” stories all the time, but adding the visuals is an amazing gift. I’m so glad Rachel creates stuff like this for families.

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