The Moon, the Stars, and Fairy Dust
The realms of outer space are so vast we can't be certain what exists beyond earth. Yet, despite the distance we can usually see the sun and the moon, and on many occasions stars dot the sky like a hundred tiny night lights.
As she got older, I would read her a bedtime story, tuck her in, and simply say “I love you as much as the moon and the stars,” before kissing her good-night and turning off the light.
That's when I started using the fairy dust. After telling her how much I loved her I sprinkled a bit of the imaginary powder over her, and it worked like a charm. After a while she started asking questions and I had to conjure up creative answers instantly.
“Where did you get the fairy dust?”
“What is it made of?”
“From moonbeams and starlight.”
“Then why can't I see it?”
“Only the person who receives it from the fairies can actually see it. To all others it was invisible.”
“How does it work?”
“Magic--but it can only be used for good purposes, and it is activated by love.”
I liked telling these answers better than the fantasy ones, but she accepted anything I told her, so innocent and trusting.
Friends and family had varying opinions on my method ranging from my being a genius to "When she finds out it's all made up, you've got a major problem." Honestly though, I couldn't see any difference between this and Santa Claus or the Easter bunny or the tooth fairy.
Luckily, things worked out well for me. Before she even realized the routine was based upon fantasy, she had learned to deal with her bedtime fears. One night as I prepared to pinch a bit of dust from my cupped hand, she told me she was a big girl now and didn't need help falling asleep anymore. That was that. I told her how proud I was of her, gave her a peck on the cheek, and flipped the light switch.
Eventually she discovered the truth about Santa and the Easter bunny. We never even had to go into the tooth fairy as she never wanted her to come (that's an interesting tale we can save for another time). Along with this knowledge also came the realization that fairy dust did not exist. She told me she felt so foolish for every believing it when it was now so obvious that one could not pick up anything from an empty palm. I just smiled, pointed out the fact that she was just a little kid then, and told her it served its purpose and that's what counts. She agreed.