The Sleep Fairy

Sofia has 100 bracelets, little Madonna 1980’s-esque rubber band bracelets that the Sleep Fairy brings her and puts under her pillow when she goes to sleep without screaming for a human, asking for water over and over, and basically just clocks on and goes to sleep. The Sleep Fairy is a small lie that started from my desperation to have sleep be easy and nondramatic, and one of my pals recommended the book.

The first night it arrived from Amazon, I sent Claudio up to put Sofia to bed by reading it.

“Kelli,” he called, in his worried voice. “Have you read this?”

“No,” Sofia was curled up in his arm.

“The Sleep Fairy will bring me a present tonight if I go right to sleep, without crying or asking for a drink of water or getting out of bed a hundred times!”

Claudio looked at me. “Are we ready for this?” I could tell he was thinking he would be the one to run to Target after dark to grab something.

“We’re good.” I said. We tucked Sofia in and she went to sleep as fast as she could. Our daughter can be bought.

“We’ll give her a rock,” I said.

“That’s not fair. A rock? A rock? That sucks. She’ll hate it.”

“She’ll love it.”

The next morning we heard Sofia gasp, “The Sleep Fairy came. She brought me a good dream rock. This is awesome!”

Sleep Fairy doesn’t come every night, but it works. She brings little somethings and puts them under the pillow.

Last weekend we were at a local park and Sofia was talking with a four-year old. “Do you like my bracelets? The Sleep Fairy brought them to me.”

“I got mine at Target,” the kid answered.

Tonight over tea I asked Claudio, “Do you think she’ll be bummed we lied to her?”


“Listen, we’re never fessing up. We’ll never break. From here on out, in our house, The Sleep Fairy and Santa are real, and flock it if other families don’t believe. We’ll never admit it. Let her figure it out on her own, but promise me we won’t break.”

Claudio briefly looked up from his new Ping program with his iPad. “We’ll never admit it.”

I feel oddly close to my husband, comforted by his promise to lie about The Sleep Fairy and Santa forever. Like maybe I can keep this heaven when my kids are small and believe in magic going and going and going.

Tonight I wrapped 4 orange M&M’s in wax paper twisted into a pretty bag with a black-sharpie heart on the outside, and placed them next to her pillow. I like hearing her discover the treat: sharp intake of breath, a whispered, “Huh?” and gleeful calling to us.

“Mom, The Sleep Fairy came!”

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