The Candy Fairy came for a visit earlier this week. No, it's not what you think. She didn't leave bags of candy in our home ready for our three-year-old's eager hands. You see, much as the Tooth Fairy collects teeth and leaves a few quarters or dollars in return, the Candy Fairy collects candy and leaves toys in return.
As you can imagine, after reading my take on modern sweeteners and why you should avoid them, candy does not make a regular appearance in our home. Nonetheless, like all junk food, candy is ubiquitous. Dum Dums are at one bank. Peppermint patties are at another. Bus drivers' pockets are loaded with miniature candy bars. And every Monday, when we pack a wholesome picnic for free concerts in the park, clowns from the Center for the Arts load my little guy's hands with tootsie rolls, jollie ranchers and caramels.
I don't have the heart to say "no," every single time. Besides, I want my son to make memories and enjoy those simple pleasures of childhood like trick-or-treating and Easter egg hunting. Unfortunately, those childhood traditions invariably celebrate pleasure through sweets and candy. Keep in mind, I'm not totally opposed to sweets or candy; indeed, I love sweets myself - too much. And, without a doubt, I love food and believe we should take pleasure in celebrating that which nourishes our bodies, but I don't want my son's perfect little growing body polluted by empty calories and tooth-rotting treats. Nevermind that candy, refined sugar (and unrefined sugar to a lesser degree) and artificial colors affect his temperament in a very negative way.
That's why I'm so pleased that the Candy Fairy paid us a little visit this week. Anticipating a visit from the Candy Fairy, my three-year-old set a little Japanese sugar cane candy in a special place known only to me, him and the Candy Fairy. Sometime as he slept, she replaced the candy with a dime store toy ladybug and a tiny bottle of bubbles. Imagine what she'll leave at Halloween.