Once upon a time a little girl, who didn’t even have an evil step family, got lucky enough to have an aunt who doubled as a fairy godmother.
She spent days and nights with her aunt, who helped her learn to read and ride horses, who let her play (carefully) with antiques and tear voraciously through aged copies of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and The Bobbsey Twins. She slept over in the fancy guest bed, which never failed to make her feel special. She accompanied her aunt (and uncle and cousin) on trips to Florida and Virginia, walking the beach and touring the Smithsonian. She slept in her very own blue room at the bed and breakfast they happened upon when traveling home from a football game in Buffalo.
When the little girl was determined to be Harriet the Spy (complete with a raincoat on a hot summer day) her fairy godmother made sure she had her own aptly labeled “Spy File” in the company file cabinet. When she had a rambling imagination that resulted in endless stories, her aunt listened patiently and offered insightful comments. When the little girl needed new books to read or new journals to write in, her aunt was happy to oblige and never stopped encouraging her love of the written word.
Her aunt helped her with math and science, she listened to the girl’s essays and poems and stories and favorite passages from the books she was reading. She taught her how to walk quickly through crowds and to not let her short legs slow her down. She told the very best stories about life before the little girl could remember it, and would happily repeat them each time she was asked.
As the little girl grew up, her fairy godmother became more of a confidant. They talked of boys and mean girls and how makeup was supposed to look. Her aunt came to soccer games and high school plays, track meets and chorus concerts. The girl was allowed to raid her aunt’s closet for dresses for homecoming (never caring that they were too long), and when it came time for junior prom, her fairy godmother (and her uncle) helped her find the perfect ballgown that turned her into a princess.
The girl’s fairy godmother remained one of her closest friends throughout college and in the years after. Her aunt attended award ceremonies and brought her ice cream when she was passing through town. The girl still slept over in the fancy guest room (though now it was in a new house), and sometimes when she was sad, she would pull the aged copy of Andersen’s Fairy Tales into bed with her for comfort. The fairy godmother went from making Shirley Temples to pouring glasses of wine. She never stopped listening or offering advice, and the girl never forgot how lucky she was to have grown up with a fairy godmother/aunt of the sort most people only find in books.