Keeping a house the stuff legends are made of

As a children’s librarian, I am well aware of the popularity of fantasy fiction. We have now, and have for centuries, had wonderful sagas of fairies, the djinn, wizards and gremlins. In addition, the arrival of St. Patrick’s Day has stirred up tales of faerie folk and small, green men with pots of gold. I love these stories as much as the next kid, but around my house we may have pushed that theme too far.
If you were to ask my family if they believe in magic, they would all laugh and tell you not to be silly. But I have absolute proof to the contrary. They don’t leave cookies and milk out for Santa anymore and they don’t make wishes on stars, but they obviously believe in fairies.
There is no doubt in my mind that my crew believes a wonderful clean-up fairy dwells in our house. It is clear they believe that the clean-up fairy removes anything they set down with a whisk of its magic wand, sending it to magic trash-dump land. Other similarly talented wee folk make dirty clothes clean again and greasy dishes rise from the sink back to the cupboard, clean and dry.
What else can explain the fact that every day I walk into the kitchen to find empty juice bottles, milk cartons and pizza boxes simply left on the table and sink. If my family truly understood the reality of trash sacks, recycle bins and big trash cans in the garage, wouldn’t they use them?
I have made them come back and put their detritus in the proper spot. I have explained the realities to them, several times. They just seem unable to remember it all. Perhaps an evil banshee has enchanted their minds.
If they were able to shake off their foggy mind spell, and grasp how clothes go through the laundry and come out ready to wear again, might they not want to try it themselves? And all they have to do is hide their dirty dish or fork out of sight in that dishwasher thing and the next thing you know, it’s back in the cupboard. That is rather magical, in its own way.
But no. They continue to wander through life relying on the magic of their mythical friends. Just like “Cinderella” or “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” clothes get hung up and trash cans magically empty themselves. As if from the tales of Merlin and King Arthur or “Snow White” mom brings home bags of uncooked food, hides them in the cupboard and refrigerator and the next thing you know, it’s been turned into a hot meal.
I think it may be time for the good fairy to get in touch with her wicked-witch side and take a monthlong cruise. By the time I get back, it should be pretty obvious that the magic ones have fled. Such are the whims of the pixies and imps.
Then my family may need to look for a giant with a backhoe.


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