I was once told by a college English professor that my writing “soared on the heights of fancy.” I treasured that as a compliment and had no way of knowing how fiercely the next decade or so would attempt to steal the joy of whimsy.
My girlish heart then longed for fairy-tale endings complete with knights and long, flowy princess dresses. I wore rose-colored glasses and reveled in their glory.
And, yet, I was leery of using the term “magic.” Growing up in a very conservative Christian home, I had not even been allowed to watch most Disney movies, and the term “magic” had negative connotations. “Magic” was evil, and I was raised to be hyper-aware of the spiritual world.
Funny now, how seriously I considered those nuances when the next decade or so would teach me of real evil, heartbreak, and devastation. “Magic” was the least of my worries.
So, yes, I do believe there is a demonic world and that sorcery is a distorted version of something pure and sweet. I’ve seen and experienced true evil and darkness. But, now as an adult with two children of my own, I see childlike “magic” and whimsy through an entirely new lens. As a mom, I’ve been given the gift of innocence all over again. I see Micah propel his food through the air with loud exclamations of “Rocket taking off!” And, Abby…well, that sweet girl lives in a completely imaginative world most days. Often, she is a make-believe animal and crawls around on all-fours all morning, speaking only in an animal-language gibberish. Or she is a traveler, and the couch becomes a vehicle, a tent, and a land far-away.
That is a gift. That creativity. That imagination. The magic that launches rockets and allows couches to travel to distant, mysterious lands.
I am the keeper of that magic. The doorkeeper to a safe haven where kindness and curiosity mingle in my home. One day, I will also be the teacher who must help my children discern light from darkness, and the one who will have to explain the evil published daily in the news. I will have to watch their innocence be dampened by the atrocities in our world, and I pray that they will become fierce voices for the voiceless. Defenders of those who have had their innocence robbed from them. I pray that their tender hearts would not be jaded, but rather inspired to make a difference in the world within their reaches.
Until then, I get to sprinkle sparkle dust on their days. (Ahem, it was for lines such as that one that I’m sure my English professor shook her head and dubbed my writing “fanciful.” Sigh.) I may not live in their imaginations, but I can give them tools to allow that creativity to flourish. I can help their hearts remain tender… their minds curious… and their voices kind.
Four ways that I create everyday magic for my children:
- Get down on their levels. I mean eye-to-eye, nose-to-nose, my knees bent to meet their shorter statures. When I become busy and preoccupied, this is perhaps the first mindful practice that I forget. I rush from to-do-list item to the next to-do-list item and forget that my children need me to pause and listen perhaps even more than I can comprehend in the hurried moments. Abby was in tears yesterday when David and I continued to have a conversation over her, and she felt interrupted and ignored. I’ll be honest: it is SOOOO easy to get annoyed at the incessant words and stories that Abby feels the need to communicate. But, she needs to be seen and made to know that her story is safe and her feelings are important. If my actions and attitudes don’t give her a voice now, then I don’t know how I expect her to be a strong and powerful woman later. Whimsical stories may seem trite in the rush of a Monday morning when told in the long-winded words of a four-year-old, but those same stories are the inspiration that she will need to make a difference when she is older and wiser.
- Be imaginative with them. I suck at this one. And I wish I had more grace-filled words with how much I fail in this area. I don’t play make-believe very well or very often these days. While I am a firm believer in independent play, I also realize that I need to speak more animal gibberish back to Abby. I need to laugh as Micah’s rockets take flight. I need to be a tent-builder, sparkle-dust giver, and a co-conspirator in some of my children’s play. #goals
- Give them a space that sparks creativity. I realize this will look different for every family, but our family needs light and bright spaces. White walls (Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace is my favorite in every space). Minimal toys. Uncluttered spaces. Cozy spots. Retreats. I will focus some of my writing on this topic in the coming months, so I will be brief today. However, I truly do believe that well-planned spaces (even spaces on tight budgets) impact our children’s ability to be imaginative and create magic on their own.
- Use essential oils that support all their big feels. I just wrote a post on essential oils for emotional balance and creativity, so I will simply link it HERE, and (as always) message me with any questions about essential oils use.
So, I don’t know about you, but I will treasure these years when I can cause their eyes to light up with a simple bottle of bubbles, a long afternoon bath, and a roll of stickers. You have a winning recipe right there. Every. Single. Time.
And for the bad days? I admit that I have a “Mary Poppins” bag full of stickers and unicorn squishy stress-reliving balls and literal bottles of sparkle dust. I highly recommend a collection like this that helps everyone take a deep, deep breath and smile. Not to mention, I have two sets of dimples grinning back at me without fail each time I pull a gold star sticker out or a silver moon. It’s pure everyday magic.
Thanks again to @every.day.kay for the shirt and reminder that each day as a mama is everyday magic: cheerios, trains, chaos and all. Click HERE for her blog and additional resources that help make each day as a mama magical.
And thank you again to Haven: Life & Photo who has helped capture some of these magical seasons of motherhood throughout the years when I was too tired to remember how precious each day was.
Please drop me a comment and I would love to journey with you over on Instagram @laurenhasz. Click follow along at the top right portion of this blog to have bits of magic, essential oil education, and motherhood meanderings delivered straight to your inbox.
Happy, whimsical, mysterious, gentle Monday, friends.