I can’t pinpoint exactly when, but like many of us, somewhere in between adolescence and adulthood, I lost my magic. I can’t describe the magic because it is something that can only be felt, but if you’ve experienced it before, you know.
Maybe it started going away the first time I got teased in fifth grade for loving horses. Or maybe in high school when my dreams for everything I could be in the future became bigger and more important than simply enjoying the present. Or maybe it was a slow deterioration as societal expectations told me how to look, how to eat, how to succeed, how to do more, how to buy more and so on and so on.
And then, on an October day in my 30th year, I held my newborn baby and the magic was back.
I didn’t even know it was gone until it came back into my life like a tidal wave, and now I breathe it in as though it’s the lifeline connecting me to what really matters in the world. All I can say is thank you, sweet child, for bringing the magic back to me.
Thank you for reminding me of the mystery and magic of searching for the moon each night, and the simple amazement that we live in a beautiful and complex world where some days it is really big, and some days we can’t see it all. Your whispered “goodnights” to the moon and the stars show me your faith that it will all be there again tomorrow night, waiting for your wandering eyes to search the skies.
Thank you for reminding me that simple things can be fascinating, like the bump of a tractor or the rumble of a truck. You show me each day that nothing is outside of magic’s reach, whether it is a tree turning orange in our front yard or the satisfying sound of leaves crunching under your feet. Things that become overlooked in adulthood or cast aside as inconveniences are big and wonderful in your world and it’s slowed me down to show me the beauty I’ve been missing in the mundane.
Thank you for reminding me that life doesn’t need to be complicated to be fulfilling.. Yes, we have many magical moments when we pack up and go to the beach for a week or make a Saturday out of filling our day with elaborate Instagrammable outings, but we feel the magic and sometimes more by simply going for a walk in the neighborhood or picking out our favorite flavors of ice cream. You show me that magic can’t be planned or fabricated—it is only felt when we are joyously in the moment.
Thank you for bringing back the magic of my childhood by giving the traditions I once held so dear renewed meaning. You remind me to take a step back and just look at the lights of our Christmas tree and soak in the awe the holidays bring. You remind me that nothing tastes better than a cinnamon roll on Thanksgiving morning and that there is something truly special about wearing a fancy dress to Christmas Eve church. Your happiness on Christmas morning is defined by the belonging you feel in the traditions of the season and not at all by the presents under the tree. The specialness of sharing all of this with you makes me crave time with my own siblings, parents, and grandparents so that I can give this magic to them and also pass on the magic from many generations ago with you.
Thank you for reminding me of the magic of me. When you see me, you don’t see shortcomings and a dress size that is more than twice that of who I was before babies. You see your biggest admirer, your protector, your safe place to land, your soft shoulder to fall asleep on. You see the promise of time and fun together and the hand you want to hold when you are crossing the street. You’ve given me new eyes in which to look at myself, and a new appreciation for a type of magic that has been uniquely created in me.
Sometimes magic is a really great piece of pizza or the sixth ride down the waterslide. It’s laughing with abandon and skipping down the sidewalk without caring who sees you. It’s appreciating time with friends and family and showing up for those who matter most without agenda or expectation. It’s the quiet midnight hours rocking a baby to sleep and the ungodly early mornings when the whole family and two dogs are curled in the same bed while it storms outside.
As mothers, we get the privilege of creating and experiencing the magic all at once. And when we really lean into it, we get the even greater privilege of breathing in and living the magic our children create for us without even trying.
To my daughter, I promise to hold onto this magic for the rest of my life and to help you hold onto yours too. Maybe between my hands and your heart, we won’t ever let it go.