Childhood is magical. It’s thinking that maybe your stuffed animals can talk to you. It’s wondering if you could take flight if you only jump high enough. It’s believing that eating your bread crust will give you the curly hair you want. It’s understanding that kissing a booboo really does make it all better. It’s finishing the day with dirty legs and feet because big play often requires a big mess. It’s seeing the good. It’s knowing that life is full of possibility.
It doesn’t come from Pinterest. It doesn’t come from shopping sprees for unneeded toys. It doesn’t come from expensive vacations.
As parents we aren’t required to create the magic.
It just is.
It’s beautiful and innocent and perfect without our help at all. All we have to do is let it be.
I refuse to let the world steal this magic from my babies. I will not stifle it. I will not quiet it. They will have their magic because allowing them to have it is a gift I can give to them.
This world moves fast. I can feel it clawing at my children trying to rush them forward.
They will be their age. I won’t rush them beyond it.
Age isn’t always what it used to be, is it? Five year olds sometimes dress like they’re thirteen. Thirteen year olds look sixteen. Sixteen year olds often act like they’re twenty-five. It makes me feel a little sick. What’s the hurry?
This doesn’t mean I don’t want my children to grow up. I celebrate and love who they are at every age. I do not long for them to be infants again. Their progression is a beautiful thing to see. Watching their eyes widen as some newfound knowledge blooms is one of the very best parts of motherhood. But I will do my best to see that it happens according to their timing and, most importantly, according to His timing.
I cannot prevent them from feeling sadness. I can’t stop someone from being unkind to them. But I can teach my children how to work through it. I can create an environment that allows them to enjoy their youth. And that I will do.
My son will be six in just a few weeks. He’s old enough to have had some experiences with the realities of this world. Sometimes he sees it on the news. Sometimes he hears things from friends that have him coming to me with questions. We discuss it all in love and honesty. We discuss it with the wisdom that our Lord provides me with for conversations such as these.
My daughter is still well protected in the happy cocoon of toddlerhood. Her biggest hurt is when I make her stop wearing her princess shoes long enough to take a nap.
I am their mama. They are my greatest joy and greatest responsibility. I will fiercely protect them. And when the harshness of the world creeps in, as it does, I will love them through it.
So move along, world. My children are busy playing, learning, and growing. They are busy digging in dirt. They are busy being cowboys. They are busy preparing me pretend food that they serve on Curious George plastic plates. They have no time for your cynicism. They have magic today.