I have identical twin boys who will turn 6-years old in January. While my kids look very much alike (to everyone else except me, that is), their personalities are drastically different. For example, my son Brady loves magic. I’m not talking about pull a rabbit out of a hat, penny behind the ear kind of magic, I’m talking about Peter Pan, Jackie Paper, Pixie dust kind of magic.
While his brother Liam has the occasional “Wow moment,” Brady spends about 99% of the day in imagination overdrive. Here’s how his mind works: On my birthday Brady gave me a stick. Yup, a regular stick, but to Brady the stick was anything but ordinary. It was magic. I remember him picking it up, examining his discovery and then marching over to me with it in his little hand and in his proudest voice he said, “Mommy, this is for you, it’s a soft stick. Rub it on your arm, and it will make everything better!”
My birthday was in July, and I still have that stick in my purse…I bring it everywhere.
Sadly, I know Brady’s going to outgrow this stage. It’s inevitable. I know one day he’ll find that stick in my purse and think I’m a crazy lady for carrying it around so long — but in the meantime, I’m going to try to find every opportunity to create magical moments in his little world. I had that opportunity this summer when I created a Treasure Island.
We live on a lake in the Charlotte area, and at least once a week we load up our pontoon boat and head out to one of the lake’s small islands. Before the summer began, I bought a large bag of costume jewelry, mostly rings. Red, blue and purple pieces of large gaudy plastic, but to my sons these rings were treasures. As soon as we dropped anchor, my boys and I would jump off the boat and run onto the sand. They would turn their back, and I would throw the rings on the ground and yell, “Honey, what is that right there?” The look on Brady’s face when he discovered the rings was priceless. Pure joy!
The boys never caught me in the act. They have no idea the treasures came from me, and I hope they never do.
Now before you go thinking I’m a complete overachieving parent, I assure you I’m not! Raising kids is damn hard, and I have mad respect for all the stay-at-home mommies and daddies who make it look easy. You are my heroes because there are many days I feel as if the walls are closing in on me. I have contemplated grabbing the garbage can and tossing every single Power Ranger toy and Pokeman card scattered around my house, and yes way too many times I’ve rushed through a bedtime story because “Mommy is spent, and she needs to go to bed.”
Sometimes. I need a reminder to stop and see the magic.
This summer as I was preparing for the NBA draft, I read a blog entry by Frank Kaminsky in which he referred to a passage from his favorite book Boy’s Life. The passage spoke about the magic of childhood and how that magic influences the adult you will become. Reading it opened my eyes. It made me think a lot about small moments with my kids. Moments that will one day vanish forever.
The other night, Brady came up to our bedroom around 3 a.m. crying about a bad dream. After I calmed him down, I brought him back to his bed and tucked him in. Normally I would head right back to bed, but this night I decided to sit there for a few minutes longer. I stroked Brady’s hair and watched his little eyes flutter as he started to drift off. Then it happened. Brady’s eyes popped open, he looked at me and said, “Mommy, I love you so much,” then he puckered his little lip and gave me the sweetest kiss. As he fell back to sleep, I thought about how close I came to missing that moment.
I’m not a perfect parent. I’m not as present as I should be. But who is? I try to remind myself that the laundry will get folded, my football prep will get done and so what if we have leftovers for dinner three nights in a row. I try to remind myself to stop, for just a second, because I never know what kind of magic is waiting just beyond that moment.
If you’d like to read Kaminsky’s post, along with the Boy’s Life passage you can find it here! The Moose Basketball: On Wisconsin Forever