Nurturing a Sense of Wonder in a Tiny Garden

I had a challenging week. Several issues were chipping away at me, and I was sleeping even worse than normal (which is saying something, as Im always a lousy sleeper).


In a small space, its arguably easier to pick up on the mood shifts of your family members due to proximity and the level of familiarity that comes with such closeness. And while I always want to be honest with my 3 year old and nurture his sense of empathy, I certainly dont want him to be negatively impacted by the way I operate when Im feeling off.


In order to redirect the focus away from my issues and towards something joyful, I decided to nurture Wests sense of wonder with a lil addition to our tiny garden.


Id recently discovered the sweetest little handmade fairy door and window on Etsy (via a maker/vendor who has sadly since closed up her shop hopefully only temporarily). While West was occupied, I installed the pieces in the tree just beyond our front stoop, and added a miniature, battery-operated tea light into the recess of the window.

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When West stepped outside and saw the flickering light through the window and the minuscule door, he was enthralled. (Kids do endless adorable things, but Wests reaction to learning that a Fairy family had moved into our garden was particularly memorable)


He knocked. He whispered. He wondered about them aloud and searched the sky and the garden for more signs of their presence.


He even asked to further decorate their window by adding some colorful stones to its mossy top, and by using one of the bowls he made in a ceramic workshop as a fairy pool.


West was so fascinated that he asked if we could make more doors and windows. Im not much of a crafter Im only mildly comfortable with DIY-lite activities. (Having written that, Im quite proud that in the past week I made the sandals Im wearing in these photos, and that I also patched Wests pants with some cheerful floral fabric.)

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But we pulled some twigs, vines and scraps from around the yard, and visited our friends at Big Red Sun to grab some moss, acorns and a book entitled Fairy Houses.

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We also scrounged up two balsa wood boxes wed been using as drawer organizers, which provide the perfect framework for additional windows.


We havent finished creating our pieces yet (crafting has about a 15 minute life-span right now).


But I expect that a bit of these natural materials coupled with some glue (and patience) will be enough to produce a magical addition for the fairy familys home, even if our versions arent quite as beautiful as the ones on Etsy.

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The most wondrous thing of all was that sharing this experience and activity with my child not only kept him from picking up on my mood shift, but it also snapped me out of my dark cloud. The week couldve spiraled into something much more bleak, but instead it ended with such huge happiness and hope.


In their hunt for a new home, Im so glad the fairies picked the cottage.