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Tiny Thoughts for a Saturday Night

I am such a helicopter parent that I’m making antidotes for common poisons on each of my kids’ Pottermore accounts since they didn’t log out.  You know, just in case they encounter some tampered with mead in Book Six.  I like to be THAT careful.


Every time the kids leave out the game Cariboo, I walk by it thinking, “he loves me; he loves my caribou.”  Who knows the origin of that WITHOUT Googling?  I’ll give you a hint: tight black turtleneck sweaters.


The twins are having a slumber party tonight (as they do most weekends… and sometimes weeknights… we’re pretty lax about that).  They can’t sleep.  They’re waiting for Befana to come and bring them a present and candy.  They’ve written her a long note full of questions and left it on top of the picture of their shoes (instead of setting out our actual shoes, our family draws ornate pictures of shoes and places those pictures in the hallway, giving Befana more space to work with).

The ChickieNob said very quietly this afternoon, “It must be very hard for Befana to go into the toy stores to buy children presents when she can’t have a child of her own.  We may have even seen her in disguise when we’ve been in a toy store, pretending that she is just a regular woman and looking very sad.”


The twins held a meeting by themselves to decide which questions should go on their list. They don’t want to annoy Befana, so they wanted to be conservative, asking only the most important questions to ensure that she’ll take the time to answer them. Namely, do all the magical folks chillax someplace together? There are many magical celebrities — Arwen, Hermione, Lucy — has she met any of them? Maybe at a party? Or just in passing when they’re off doing magical things?


I love quiet Saturday nights.


1 Cristy { 01.05.13 at 10:39 pm }

I had no idea this holiday existed. And the legend of La Befana brought tears to my eyes. Wishing you and Josh a peaceful Epiphany Eve and the whole family a wonderful day of feasting.

2 a { 01.05.13 at 11:06 pm }

Didn’t you see Santa Clause 3? They have occasional meetings, those mythical beings…

3 Meghan { 01.06.13 at 12:45 am }

Love the idea of some magical pub somewhere where all those people hang out. It’s a pretty important question

4 Mrs. Gamgee { 01.06.13 at 9:09 am }

Of course there has to be a place and time where Gandalf and Dumbledore could wax philosophical together over a pint. Could you imagine that conversation? Would love to be a fly on the wall. 🙂

5 Tiara { 01.06.13 at 1:08 pm }

When you said tight black turtle necks, I thought Sprockets but had to google to confirm.

6 Mali { 01.06.13 at 10:48 pm }

ChickieNob’s comment – “We may have even seen her in disguise when we’ve been in a toy store, pretending that she is just a regular woman and looking very sad.” – made me think.

Two comments. The first is that you have a wonderfully insightful and compassionate daughter. And the second is that I hope she realises or will one day understand that Befana (or any childless woman) is still also a regular woman, and may go to the toy stores quite happily! As an aunt, I have great fun looking at toys (and not worrying where to store them or how much noise or mess they will make), and especially being the aunt choosing clothes for my niece. I used to feel a fraud, as if I had gone in disguise, and used to feel sad, but no longer.

7 Chickenpig { 01.07.13 at 8:31 am }

Mali is absolutely right. Also, I never shop in toy stores with my children, it’s counterproductive. So even though I’m a woman shopping alone, I am quite happy trying to find just the right gift. Maybe Befana looks like that?

8 Luna { 01.07.13 at 8:38 am }

This story is similar to one I have always told in my Kindergarten at this time of year about Babushka. My classes have always loved it.

9 loribeth { 01.07.13 at 11:03 am }

Thanks, Mali (& Chickenpig), that was my gut reaction as well. (No offense to Chickienob — like many people, her heart is in the right place, even if she doesn’t quite have the vocabulary.)

10 Lollipop Goldstein { 01.07.13 at 12:49 pm }

But the story of Befana is one of grief and continual infertility. She has been battling infertility for 2000 years, and tries to make amends each year for her transgression that led to her infertility so she can finally have a child. While there are plenty of women who sail through infertility without being emotionally affected by triggers such as toy stores, I don’t know if I would buy a story that Befana isn’t emotionally affected by a toy store, in the same way that I wouldn’t believe a story if you told me Tantalus isn’t bothered by seeing other people drinking huge glasses of water. And I choose Tantalus as an example because he is forever in the throes of trying to treat his thirst, in the same way that Befana in the story I was told is never living child-free; she is always mid-life and childless and trying.

11 Mali { 01.07.13 at 6:05 pm }

I guess Befana then also has another lesson to teach many of us. That at some stage we have to stop and to accept our infertility, otherwise we are doomed to live the rest of our lives searching for something we will never find, and living in grief. It’s only in that way that she can enter the toy stores freely. I like to think that maybe that she has accepted it, and chooses to give children gifts and candy because it gives her joy, and so that she is remembered, rather than because she is still looking for her “reward.”

12 Lollipop Goldstein { 01.07.13 at 6:40 pm }

That is the nice thing about open-ended stories: they’re capable of holding a lot of interpretations.

13 Elizabeth { 01.10.13 at 4:30 pm }

I interpreted her comment to mean that “regular” women don’t have this Santa Claus role towards the whole world.

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