Thursday, December 8, 2011

Let There Be Magic

Once upon a time I believed in magic -- and then I grew up. Why does that happen? When do we become so jaded that we stop believing in all things wondrous and magical? Is it when we find out there really is no Santa Claus? (Sorry if I ruined for you.) Is it when we realize that despite how many pennies we throw into the fountain, our wishes don't come true? Or is it simply a result of growing up?

And then the big question...can you get it back?

I think you can, if you open your heart big enough and spend a little bit of time with a six-year-old. That was my lesson this week -- that lucky pennies really do work and that magic really does exist, so long as you know where to look for it.

Bear and I were shopping the other day and he found a penny on the floor right beside the checkout counter. Being the practical mom that I am, I suggested he pick it up so he could put it in his piggy bank when he got home. The cashier, who is apparently way more in touch with her inner six-year-old than I am, commented to him that he was a lucky boy to find a lucky penny. A lucky penny? What on earth was a lucky penny, Bear wanted to know. ( I that jaded that I've never told him about lucky pennies? Or maybe it's because I haven't been able to take him into a store in years, so we've never had the chance to find one. Ya, let's go with that.)

Five minutes later we're in the van on the way home and Bear spots an ambulance. If you've ever spent time with a six-year-old boy, you know that any vehicle with lights on top and a siren is IT. There is nothing better. Period. (For my French friends...point finale!) End of story. So there we are, stopped at a red light, and an ambulance goes by. There is nothing particularly exciting about this ambulance. It isn't going fast. It doesn't have its lights flashing. It doesn't have its sirens blaring. It's just driving along, minding its own business like all the other vehicles on the road. Nonetheless, to Bear an ambulance is an ambulance is an ambulance, and it is thereby worthy of commentary.

"Mommy!!!" shouts Bear, "Look!!! An ambulance!!!" (Yes, all exclamation points are necessary. He's six...he's very emphatic.)

"Yes, Angel," I reply fairly automatically. Needless to say, the sight of an ambulance doesn't engender the same type of excitement in me as it does in him.

"The lady was right, Mommy!" he exclaims. "I found a lucky penny and now I've seen an ambulance. Today is my lucky day!" (I refrain from pointing out that his lucky day is perhaps not so lucky for the ambulance's passenger. That just seems wrong.)

I say nothing, but I smile and think to myself that perhaps finding luck is often the direct result of looking for it.

Two days later Bear and I are sitting at the table in front of the computer having a little Mommy-Bear quality time, as he puts it. He's sitting on my lap and we're creating our very own snowflakes, which will soon fall digitally on the screen in front of us. As we sit mesmerized, staring at the scene we've just created together, I glance out the window.

"Look, Bear! It's snowing!" I point out, thinking it's a fun little coincidence.

"Mommy...we made it snow!!! It's magic!" he exclaims in delight.

Yes, my sweet boy, it is. Life with you is magic.


  1. Laura! How can you say there is no Santa Claus? Over the years, Santa has been to our home often. While he has occasionally worn a red velvet suit with white fur trim, most times his costume was not quite so obvious. You don't wear your Sunday Best or even the same clothes every day do you? Why would Santa?

    Don't you remember what Santa would say when you sat on his knee with your Christmas wish list? He never said that he would bring it all. Not at all. He always said that he would see what he could bring you, and that he would bring you something that you would need. The elves could only make so many of a certain toy.

    Over the years, Santa always came to celebrate Christmas with us, and as we grew and matured, so did our gifts. Not always what we wanted, but always what we needed to make Christmas merry.

    What I have come to learn as I became a parent and started to share Santa with the girls is that Santa actually visits us all year round. He only dresses up in the old familiar suit on Christmas Eve. You will find him, not by his belly like a bowl full of Jelly... You know he's got to take care of his heart! No, instead you will find him by the twinkle in his eye. Mrs. Claus also makes her way around to bring a bit of Christmas Joy during the year.

    That's how Santa knows if we've been good or bad throughout the year. The elves? They only come around in the season of Advent, when Santa and Mrs. Claus are so busy getting everything ready to spread so much Christmas Joy on Christmas Eve!

    I've met my fair share of skeptics over the years, who have said to me that Santa doesn't exist. I could never really believe them, because Santa has always been very real to me! So you didn't ruin anything for me... ;)

  2. That is absolutely adorable.
    We tend to forget those small things that makes being a child so magical. That's why we have remind us.

  3. I rediscovered the joy of making snow angels, catching a snowflake on my tongue, lying on my back finding shapes in the clouds and finding joy in mundane tasks when my little girl came along. She spent 2 hours at my mom's the other night setting up Grandma's "little house" (the crèche)I'd forgotten how many hours I spent playing with ours when I was a kid. She's old enough this year to be given the responsibility of setting ours up as well. Her enthusiasm is spilling over into my heart, and making me love Christmas for the beauty of the lights on the tree, the decorated houses and the music, rather than the work and labour for 1 day. I'm thankful for that.

  4. Dear Laura, I stumbled accross this blog whike I was googling on how to put my 3,5yo to bed without hassle. And this piece, it really brought tears to my eyes. Sometimes I don't really put attentions on small things that make my child happy, but now I realize those petty things are the real magic in his life. I will keep reading your blog religiously, for you are truly an inspiration. Big love to Bear and Stitch!

    1. Hi Sheila. Thanks so much for stopping by. I think we all get caught up in the daily grind and forget about creating magic for our kids. The thing I love is that kids have this amazing knack of creating magic for us, and not the other way around. And thanks for commenting. I had forgotten about this particular post, so it did me good to go back and read it. Isn't it sad who we often forget these special little times?