When I was a child, I believed in magic. Real magic.
I believed mermaids did exist. I was certain that if you dove down deep enough, you would discover their castle beneath the dark waters, hidden from human eyes. I believed that my toys came alive at night and danced around my bedroom. I believed that on Christmas Eve my pet dog spoke to the baby Jesus via our plastic nativity.
Now, as an adult, I understand that magic is real. I am the one with magical powers. I am the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Elf on a Shelf, Timothy the Leprechaun and Spirit of Halloween.
Let’s just get something straight: It is a lot of work being a supernatural creature, with absolutely no margin for error. I take pride in my work, leaving behind a visible trail for my daughter to find, allowing her to plunge deeper into the fantasy. Each visitor leaving behind their own unique distinct magical footprint. The Tooth Fairy, for example, is a bit messy. She likes to shower the room with pixie dust, allowing my daughter to wake up to a glittery celebration of the gold (Two Sacagawea coins) that has been left behind. The Easter Bunny leaves a trail of nibbled carrot droppings around a loaded basket that was left empty the night before. Santa Claus enjoys his snack too, even drinks the milk that was left behind reinforcing my daughter’s belief in his existence because “Mommy is allergic to milk!” He also uses different wrapping paper than the rest of the gifts, often times abandoning the paper and just setting up the toys by the tree.
My greatest magical moment probably occurred seven years ago when I taught Pre-K. I trashed my classroom. TRASHED IT. Flipped the carpet. Tossed books about, even turned the castle in the fish tank upside down. Why? Why would I do that? Well… there were tiny green painted foot prints that led to the window, showing how our leprechaun had escaped. We even set a trap… but he was too clever. Those children are in fifth grade now, and they may not remember learning colors or cutting shapes, but they clearly remember the day they tried to catch a leprechaun.
So, I may not be the best at building lego houses, or dressing Barbie. But I would like to think that I’ve given my daughter something far more valuable. I’ve given her something to believe in. I’ve sculpted her imagination and made her daydreams a bit more life like. I’d like to think that when she is all grown up and knows the truth that she won’t be angry at me for my twisted tales. My hope is that one day she looks back with a smile and thinks, “My mom was magical.”