A few weeks ago I picked you up from school and you jumped into the van, breathless and electric with energy. “Mom guess what! Wendy had some extra magic and she gave me some! I’m magic now!”
“Wow, that’s great! What kinds of things can you do?”
“Well, I just think about something and then I can make it happen!”
Suddenly I had an idea.
“Hey! Wouldn’t it be cool if you could make something really awesome appear, like a bunch of cookies?”
“Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. Close your eyes and concentrate really really hard on cookies and maybe they’ll appear on the kitchen counter. Imagine some big cookies in a brown box. You got it?”
Silence from the back seat as you squinted your eyes and concentrated.
When we arrived home I expected you to be amazed at your new found powers when you ran to the kitchen to find the box of cookies I bought earlier that day. I teetered on telling you the truth because I thought you might get freaked out or have a heart attack or your little head might explode right then and there. But to my surprise, you walked in, nonchalantly grabbed the box, opened it and ate a cookie like it was no big deal. There had been no doubt in your mind that your magical powers were legit and you made those cookies appear out of thin air. Because that is the beauty of your world right now. Magic is real, leprechauns grant wishes, fairies kiss your scrapes while you sleep and you want to be a princess when you grow up.
But I know we are at the tail end of that beautiful, fleeting innocence.
This year so many things changed when you started Kindergarten. You choose your own friends, and for the first time had to feel sting of them not choosing you back. I want you to know how difficult that was for me, to not fix it for you. But even though you can’t see it yet, that wound turned into a callous that will protect you when you’re older, when you’ll really need it. Please never forget how that felt, and appreciate the power of unkindness.
You have to figure out the difference between right and wrong without me whispering into your ear, and, even harder, act accordingly. I don’t even know how to begin to prepare you for that stuff but I promise you that I am doing my best. You come home knowing things I didn’t teach you, saying things I don’t say and right now I am just trying to keep up while bracing myself for the inevitable curve ball.
This year you learned how to ride a bike, lost your first tooth and can read an entire book. You have a talent for drawing, writing stories and will chase someone down the entire street to ask if you can pet their dog. You love making people laugh. You hate french fries. You are terrified of someone seeing you fail. You get teary eyed when we discuss your undying love for Palmer, your pre-school boyfriend that you don’t get to see every day anymore. You love being in charge of your little sisters, can almost do the monkey bars all the way across and your favorite song is Sugar.
You are a beautiful human being, and I’m not just saying that because you came from my loins. Please always be kind, please never put me in a home, and please always believe in magic.