One of the ideas that I’ve allowed to prosper in my children’s creative, yet-to-be-stymied brains is Elves Exist. Not the plush, stuffed guy that moved around the house prior to Christmas, but real Elves. The kind that live outside. In Montclair we have loads of knotty, old trees with all sorts of interesting patterns and shapes. Whenever we walk past one with a hole, my kids ask me, “Is that an Elf house?” Sometimes it is, and sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s just an Elf shelter from the rain because it’s only an indent and not a true hole into the trunk.
On New Year’s Eve day we took a wonderful walk to Brookdale Park, and we found lots of Elf houses. The joy the kids took in wondering if the Elves were home or not is worth the falsehood. I figure my childhood belief (and maybe current belief, I’m not totally sure…) that forest dwellers included Elves, Gnomes, and Fairies didn’t hurt me – much. Kids seem to get sucked into lots of “real life” pretend, why not let them dwell on true make-believe (oxymoron?) for as long as they’ll have it?
And it helps that we have a Gnome living on our block as well. We’ve been saying hello to him since before we even moved in to our home.