When Wildflower was small, we showed her every opportunity to believe in magic.
We crept through wooded areas and dreamed of tiny faeries who lived amongst the cedar grove. We told her elaborate tales of dragons and little mouse families and of Santa’s elves, with hopes that these stories, would help her to weave belief and depth into her world, to save her from slipping into cynicism and sadness as she awoke from her childhood.
These stories always included her own insights and imagination.
As she grows older, we’ve begun to notice that she is simply transitioning into playing along with our game, and helping us share the tales with her younger siblings. These stories connect us.
We’ve never felt that this was considered lying to our children.
For as long as people have been able to communicate, story has been the singular most valuable way to teach children about life. Indigenous people are famous for their beautiful legends while fables and folklore colour the history of the Celts. Even the oldest books are filled with stories for the purpose of teaching.
We, all people, learn best when we are connected with the purpose of the teaching, when it paints a vivid picture for us, and as a body of relatively educated humans, we eventually can choose for ourselves what is tangible and what is for the purpose of entertainment (hence why you can’t remember much about quadratic equations, unless you were passionate about that stuff).
Now, as my baby girl is no longer such, I’ve begun to realize that she brought back the magic to my own eyes. A world that once felt dreary, as though there could be no more Christmases, were coloured a new hue as we shared in this journey together.
Though I’m fortunate enough to have two more souls to share stories of elves and dragons and magical flowers with, I know that this, too, shall pass.
Someday, I’ll take a walk in the woods, and I’ll spy a special knothole where a tiny faerie resides. I’ll turn to share the story with my smaller companion only to realize that the dog isn’t interested. And then I’ll remind myself that magic doesn’t just exist through the eyes of children.
Words of wisdom shared with me this summer have been echoing through my mind reminding me to keep ahold of my own sense of wonder, and I hope to do just that.
Wonder is all around me.
It’s knocking on my door whether or not I’m here to answer…
It seeps through the cracks between hustle and hibernation, calling for me to take notice.
It. Knows. My. Name.
Will I choose to accept its calling?
Or will another moment whither away, my hands deep in the dish water, my mind wracked with thoughts of lists and things that are, in fact, quite important.
Or will I crouch to greet the face who clings to my legs, calling out ME! ME! MEEE!!!
The least helpful advice to give to a mother with young children is to forget the dishes, these years pass too quickly.
Though the message comes with good intentions, believe me, she already knows. She can see how quickly the moments stack up like bills, debts she hasn’t yet paid to herself or her children. Those pants she meant to sew for the last baby didn’t meet the sewing machine and now he’s teetering on two. Despite all of the times she turned away from the soapy water to pull his small face into her hands, kiss his marshmallow cheeks, and toss him up to the counter to help, time slipped on by.
And besides, who IS going to do those dishes?
Somedays, I’m obliged to choose the sudsy sink, but today I chose wonder.
Wishing you wonder and someone to mop your floors,