Several weeks ago when I told Edgar about my trip to England, he asked for only one thing: a wand. Convinced I was going to the land of Harry Potter where wands are readily available on every street corner and in every back alley, he felt his request would be easily fulfilled. And, in fact, on the Friday morning of departure, the only thing that quelled his tears was my reminding him that I was going to get a wand–and possibly an application for him for admission to Hogwarts.
When I got to work that morning, one of my very creative students volunteered to create an application to Hogwarts for him–complete on wrinkled brown paper and written out painstakingly in perfect calligraphy. The plan was that I would put the application in my suitcase and “bring it back”–as if it had come from England. The potential magic, I knew, would be beyond compare.
Later that day another student asked how I would handle it if, when Edgar is eleven (the official age at which one can be admitted to Hogwarts), he tries to send in his application. I looked rather quizzically in response to the question, never having contemplated the notion that Edgar would still believe Hogwarts was real at age eleven and quite sure that by then he would understand the difference between reality and fiction.
My student indicated (based on personal experience, I suspect) that Edgar may very well believe Hogwarts is real for a long, long time.
And as I thought about the possibility (and difficulty) of having to lift the proverbial curtain in five years, I realized that it would be worth it. For the same reason we allow our children to believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny, I am going to let him have this.
There is something to be said for magic and even more for the ability to believe in it.