About a month ago my five year old daughter said to me, “Daddy is Mickey real?”
She was referring to the one and only Mickey Mouse. She went on to say, “Laura at school said Mickey isn’t real?”
I said, “What do you think?”
She said, “I think he’s real. He’s magical. But I don’t think Goofy or Donald or any of those other characters are real.”
I said, “Why?”
She said, “Because they don’t have tongues. They can’t eat without a tongue. But Mickey has a tongue. I think he’s real.”
I smiled inwardly. Seemed like pretty solid reasoning to me!
Then about a week ago my seven year old son lost his tooth.
I said, “We can’t forget to put your tooth under your pillow for the tooth fairy.”
He says, “Dad, how big is the tooth fairy?”
I say, “I imagine very tiny. I’ve never seen her myself.”
He says, “But how strong is she?”
I say, “I don’t know.”
He says, “Well she must be strong to carry all those coins around.”
Note to reader: We give the kids coins when they lose their teeth.
I say, “Well she’s just magical.”
That seemed to satisfy him and he nodded in agreement, happy that she would be bringing him something later that evening.
And then just yesterday, this same son says(I have another older one), “Dad, how does Santa deliver presents to every house in the world in one night? That must be like 50,000 houses!!”
I laughed, in spite of myself. (Yes, blatant rip off of the poem.)
I say, “I have no idea how he does it.”
He says, “Well his bag of presents must be as big as this house!”
I say, “Yes, it must be magic.”
He says, “That’s what I think.”
I’m amused and delighted by his perception of the world. Grossly underestimated, but huge and wondrous to him!
The concept of magic lives large in my kids as it does in most kids. Lucky for them. Believing in things we can’t see or touch is something adults have “unlearned.” Sure, many of us have spiritual or religious faith, but do we really believe in that which we have to actually imagine?
What makes the holidays so special besides the giving and receiving is the magic that surrounds it, embraces it, and brings it alive. Viewing this magic through my children is wonderful, but I want to believe it all myself.
A world with Santa, The Easter Bunny, Mickey Mouse, The Tooth Fairy and any other fantastical creature is certainly a world that is a lot more fun. It’s a world that is less certain, but more open to new possibilities and experiences.
I constantly get caught up in the day to day grind. And to a certain extent I have to. Work, kids, sports, bills, chores…the list goes on and on. But it’s during these conversations with my kids that I realize the world is so much bigger and more magical than I can ever understand. And that’s a world we can all create by just allowing ourselves to wonder, just a little.
Am I saying, we should all believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy? Not really, but I am saying, leave a little space for the possibility of magic.
Because it’s everywhere!