I stood on their front porch, already smiling and ready for an after-school visit with my granddaughters. Ten-year-old Kate opened the front door and said, “We’re going to fairyland.” Six-year-old Sammy waited nearby, frowning. “No, we’re not. We’re going to dragonland.” “Fairyland!” “Dragonland!” I breathed slowly and took off my coat. “Maybe the fairies and dragons are friends, and we could visit everybody together,” I said. “No.” Kate’s voice was firm. “Look at this.” She knelt and traced a curving floral pattern on the living room rug. “I’ve already made the barrier between fairyland and dragonland. They’re not the same at all. We’re going to fairyland.”

When my teenage grandsons were little, the three of us searched for Ninjago-land many times. We’d walk around our neighborhood, on the lookout for color-coded clues to the whereabouts of LEGO ninja warriors who battled the forces of evil. In all our travels, though, we never teleported to the Star Wars universe and invited Luke Skywalker and Yoda to come back with us for snack time with the ninjas.

Sammy sighed and was quiet for a moment. “It’s OK. You and Grandma can go to fairyland — but then could we go to dragonland?” Kate looked at her little sister and nodded. I wondered if grandma dragon hugged their small grand-dragons. Kate and I settled ourselves cross-legged on a blanket, closed our eyes and began our journey in silence. The stillness grew peaceful and warm, and I let my mind drift until I saw it: A miniature flower garden, shimmering in shades of purple, red and blue. Fairies with long, silvery hair sat at a green-painted table, drinking tea from tiny cups, with small baskets of petals and dried herbs on the table beside them. I knew them, these wise women of the fey, whose silky wings were strong enough to carry their laughter and their secrets. The silence around me continued, until a gentle hand set a tiara on my hair. “Open your eyes now,” Kate whispered. I needed a moment to come back. The tiara sparkled as I held it. Kate and I smiled at each other, and neither of us asked what the other had seen.

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