There's a lot of talk about magic around these parts lately. 'Tis the season, after all: The season where a carrot in a shoe can turn into chocolate; dancers on a stage turn into mice, fairies, nutcrackers, and a whole kingdom of sweets; siblings who often can't be in the same room together spend hours making a gift for another sibling; adults turn into 'right jolly old elves' in spite of themselves; a time when mere ingredients such as flour, molasses, egg whites and sugar turn into a house fit for a fairy tale; a time when the lights on the neighborhood houses make everything sparkle; a time when a kind word and a polite response to the people who are in our every day means even more; a time when I say yes to adventure, late nights and silly requests more often. And really, why not? I tend to spend a lot of time with the mundane details of motherhood: laundry and grocery lists, taxi-like service to and from dance, fencing and horse riding, reminders to practice those precious instruments, to be kind or quiet or careful again.... and being in this season of light reminds me--I can be magical, too.
I had a massage when I was pregnant with Forest and worried about how to mother this passel of kids I seem to have acquired. The massage therapist told me, "Remember that you are magical... that's what they need from you." I spent some time wrestling with that in my head--the practical mid-westerner in me (oh yeah, it's still in there somewhere) said, "Ha! Magical! Ha!" and then the free-spirited forest dweller said, "She's so right" Guess who won? Both. Neither. It's still a wrestling match. Some days I feel too wiped by the aforementioned mundane details to be very magical. The laundry piles up, no one likes what's for dinner, the baby pinches and bites and hits me, homeschooling is a fight and no one played their instruments. And then I remember that I am magical and powerful beyond my wildest dreams in their lives, simply because I am their mother. And, I can use my magic to sprinkle just a little more fairy dust into their lives before they slip out of Neverland forever (the baby teeth are nearly gone, and each one lost is rejoiced over!) Or, I can be the wicked queen who pushes my agenda on those in my realm. Gee--it's a tough choice. Actually, it is not always easy to choose to allow them to follow their dreams and feel their feelings fully---it makes for a lot of noise and mess, and sometimes I just want my fairy godmother to come in and offer me a spa trip and a massage--I'll be back by midnight, really, I will.
I hear my mama friends out there wishing for it all to slow down, and even stop--because the Christmas machine starts early and runs full tilt until the end of the year. I feel it too. I have to avoid getting sucked in and burnt out by it, too. This year, my tactic for that is to remind myself 'remember the magic.' What I mean when I say that to frantic me (and you?) is: Remember that they are only small for a short time and that all of the little traditions are what make for good memories. Remember that if it is feeling stressy and not fun, to just let it go--that tradition has lost a bit of it's magic and may return another year, or not! Remember that the connections that we have to each other are where the magic grows and lives and is carried beyond this season and into the others. Remember the magic of gratitude every day.