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I think the Backpack Fairy is getting tired. She enjoys visiting at the beginning of each year. It is getting harder to come up with goodies the kids need for school. Yet it’s still not time to fly away to a new family. There is still a need for children who believe in magic and have shiny eyes.

This year Gwen would not stop asking for a new lunch box. We had put in our order with the Backpack Fairy. Luckily there was a backup plan when Gwen told her friend Lexie, “We have a Backpack Fairy and I think she will bring me a new lunchbox!” Heath and I were grocery shopping when I told him what I had overheard. I said, “If she can figure that much out, can’t we just be done with this?” It was a lot more fun when the kids were younger.

Gwen and Lexie were still playing when we brought groceries in. I was able to smuggle the lunch box downstairs as if we picked it up from the store! She bought my fib easily as she twirled around with her beautiful new lunchbox. The next morning Gwen had a new raincoat in front of her backpack. Whew! It was easy to dismiss her earlier complaints when everyone got a new raincoat but her. She still had one, I told her!

Granted it’s not the best raincoat. It’s a hooded trench style jacket that’s not very weather proof. Gwen loves umbrellas and doesn’t mind getting wet anyway so a raincoat has never been very important. The boys need weather proof hooded jackets that will keep them dry and warm. Now that we live in a place known for its rain, Gwen needed something that could keep her dry and warm. We saved the raincoat for the Backpack Fairy to deliver.

Gavin is impossible for the Backpack Fairy to give anything to. She ended up getting him a Seahawks pillow pet. Maybe now Cosmo can stay with the other pets where he belongs. Gavin kidnapped him a lot. Not a very school themed gift but what do you get for the 8th grader who already has everything he needs?

Parker’s story ended up being quite sad for me. The Backpack Fairy picked the perfect Tardis alarm clock. The mailman was supposed to deliver it along with a couple other packages. Only the mailman must be related to our lazy mailman from California because he didn’t even bother showing up the day after Labor Day. No one got any mail and certainly no packages were delivered.

I was furious. So was Heath. The tracking info online claimed a delivery attempt was made. They claimed they attempted a delivery at 8:14 pm, the exact same time Heath was walking in the front door after a YM Presidency meeting. We also have a security camera in our front window. There was never a mail truck on the feed from that day. What now?

We pulled Parker aside just before bed and explained the terrible news. “If you haven’t already figured it out, Mom and Dad are the Backpack Fairy and your gift didn’t arrive in time.” He wasn’t surprised to learn there isn’t really a Backpack Fairy. He figured out Santa on his own.

Funny story, Gwen came home one day really upset. “Victoria says Santa Claus isn’t real! She says it’s really the parents that give the gifts!” Pout, stomp, angry confused face. On cue Heath and I both simultaneously asked, “What do you think?” She said she thought he was real. “Then there you go. If you don’t believe in him he will stop coming.” She took a cleansing breath. All was right with the world again and she dropped the issue.

The problem we were facing now was what to do about the missing gift. It wasn’t going to ruin Parker’s day. Gavin wouldn’t even notice. But Gwen would. Gwen would make a big deal out of it. Gwen would be confused. I may have crushed Gavin’s heart when I made Heath tell him the truth about Santa. I regret that decision every single day. In my defense, Gavin was older than Gwen is now. As hard as it is to keep up the charade, she can’t lose the magic yet. Her eyes have to stay shiny.

So the Backpack Fairy wrote a bit of a riddle.

Dear Parker,

I had the perfect gift for you this school year. Somehow it got lost along its way to your backpack. It’s a special gift with special abilities. I warned my friend, the doctor, that this gift would be useful now, in this period of time. He must have gone on one more adventure. Somewhere in the world a blue time machine reads the same numbers as the clocks in your kitchen. The doctor should deliver this unique machine tomorrow. Please accept my apologies in the delay of your gift.

Sincerely,

The Backpack Fairy

Parker pretended to be stumped. Gwen saw he got a some apology note and went back to fondling her new raincoat. The mailman finally decided to do his job and delivered the package while the kids were at school. He also delivered the next door neighbor boy’s paintball gun. Bradley had peddled his car washing skills up and down the neighborhood to earn the money. And he had to wait an extra day for the mail service to take their own day off to recover from the government sanctioned vacation day.

For all Gwen knew, the Backpack Fairy visited again while she was at school. Disaster averted and her eyes still shine.

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