I've been thinking a lot about magic lately. Not the Harry Potter, magic wand-wielding, spell-casting kind. And not the I'm-turning-into-some-kind-of-weirdo kind. I've been thinking about the kind of magic that is inherent to childhood, or at least the kind that is afforded in a happy childhood not marred too badly by trauma and/or the adult world.
It is this kind of magic that I long so much to protect for my girls. The kind of magical thinking and perception that in certain ways goes along with youth and innocence. And I don't believe that I'm really romanticizing here. I know my girls' world is not like a fairy picture book, and I'm sure their brains are not entirely pure and angelic, but they're pretty damn close. And when I think about the magic of childhood and the innocence of early youth, I can't help but want to keep that world as magical as possible for as long as possible. I don't want to stunt them and keep them unnaturally childish, but I certainly also would like them to emerge from the misty fog of youthful magic at their own pace and their own time.And if they slip back and forth in and out of it, hopefully for a long time, even better.
And this, I realize, is one of the things I love about the winter holidays, at least as we celebrate them in our little family. I'm all in favor of Santa Claus, not the one sitting under florescent lights in an overheated shopping mall, but the one in our imaginations. And why not throw in some elves and a few flying reindeer. And a snowman who comes to life? The more the merrier, I say.
The everyday is magical for my girls. When I'm quiet, and I'm patient, and I close my big mouth, I can hear it. Like the other day when Ninna, dressed in the get-up below, asked me
"Does my outfit look right, mama? Does it really look like I'm a fireman? I think it looks like a fireman girl, at least."
In my mind, I thought: Yes, baby girl. A blue thermal shirt, an orange Hawaiian-print skirt, wicked-witch-of-the-west legwarmers, and too-small fairy slippers is just about the most perfect outfit I can imagine for a girl fireman. I couldn't have done it better myself. I love that your mind's eye visualizes the world in this way.
And on the outside, I nodded and smiled.
Bojey was harder to capture on film this day, as she prefers photos taken on her own terms, at times of her choosing. But she did invite me into her world, letting me know that she was a construction worker with a broken leg (see sparkly legwarmer on her right calf). Being three, she is even deeper into her world, sharing far less of it aloud and living far more as if it is fact. Which, of course, it is.
I initially didn't think I'd bother to post about this since one can only write about playdough so many times, but the direction of the girls' play (and mine) was so much fun that I did end up pulling out the camera.
Maybe you've all thought of this a million times, but we've never done this before. Bojey asked if we could use the toy animals with the playdough, so I brought over the basket of animals. We quickly realized that If you take your small plastic animals and walk them along a flattened piece of playdough, you can make animal tracks! And it's even more fun when your playdough looks like snow, especially so when you have no real snow outside.
Even the pterodactyl joined the fun:
Eventually we brought over the nature bowl and included things line pinecones and feathers. How cute is this squirrel in the woods?
And here's Ninna's red forest:
Is it weird that I'm kind of excited to play with the playdough again this weekend?
Advent! Tomorrow! But it's technically today, in fact, because it's after midnight and I'm still polishing up our calendar for the month. Thanks in part to all of your awesome suggestions, I actually have more ideas than we have days, which I suppose is not a bad thing.
The "temporary, makeshift, one-time" advent calendar that I made for us two years ago is now about to experience its third season of use. I intended to make something better after the first year and didn't, but now that it has lasted this long I almost feel like it's too much a part of our tradition to let it go. (Or I'm justifying my inability to get it together enough to make a better one. You decide.):
****************************************************************** In other news, Bojey has finally reached that all-important childhood milestone: the realization that wearing a diaper on one's head is funny: