As you know, yesterday I did 101 things around the house all evening, many out in our back yard. As I finished setting up the little cookout table, I let Maggie play with it. She pushed the benches together, stood up on them, and shouted
Boy did we get a laugh out of that! I have never heard her say that before, and I thought it adorable—and kind of ironic considering “Superheroes” are this week’s Theme Thursday theme.
Then tonight, I was talking to a friend tonight about magic. I think there is magic everywhere in our lives, some of us are just better at spotting it than others. My friend is one of the great ones. She is such a creative spirit, she just finds the details others can’t see and can spin a wildly captivating story from dust and crumbs. I am less good at spotting magic in everyday life, as I have a tendency to take things at face value, even if I do look for “universal” explanations for things when I need them. But I wish I saw magic like she does, the interwoven connections between people and life and earth and universe. On that she gave me a bit of advice:
“Look at what [Maggie] sees, instead of just admiring her joy. See the whole picture. Maggie sees it [magic]. Take her cues.” (Italics are mine.)
Little did my friend know, Maggie and I had one such moment just earlier tonight.
Mags and I were walking into Rite Aid this evening after school. I was carrying her and laughing, both at how cute she was all covered in smudges and pink cheeks from hanging out in the garage with daddy, and about how she was saying “bye, mama’s jeep, see you in a minute!”. I smiled at a woman coming out of the store as we were going in. Maggie looked intently over my shoulder for a second, and she said:
I looked around, and there was no one else in the parking lot. I asked her “Did you see a princess? Is she the princess?” Maggie said “Yes. Princess.” And smiled. I was stunned… where did she get such an idea? The woman was dressed in standard issue black Rite Aid polo and pants, looked to be about mid-50s, and had chest-length thick (lovely) gray hair. And my daughter saw a princess.
Even at the time I thought it was such a beautiful moment.
And now, I’m thinking it might have been more. Maybe Maggie really is a superhero. Maybe kids really do see the magic in the world. Maybe that woman really was a princess. We’ve all written or read or talked before about how children are born so innocent, with a perfect open view of life and the world. It is us (and the “they”) that paint lines into that view. Divisions, rules, restrictions. Children are limitless in what they can see and imagine, until we give them limits.
I think maybe Maggie is a superhero. I know she is one to me. She brings magic and joy to my life, and gives me “magic vision”, so I can begin to see the world through her eyes. She makes me laugh faster than a speeding bullet, she can scale couches in a single bound, spark a smile on the stoniest face, and I think she can see through to the heart of a person.
And you know what? She was wearing an adorable shirt with a camping picture on it that I absentmindedly put on her late in the day. And had I thought about it, I wouldn’t have, opting instead to save it for tomorrow since we are doing a camping theme in school right now. That shirt was actually a gift from the same friend I was talking to about magic… A shirt Mags hasn’t worn in quite a while, because it was in the bottom of her basket. It seems like a strange coincidence all this would happen at the same time on its own…. the superhero, the shirt, the princess, the magic conversation…
(This is Mags, wearing the shirt at 12.5 mos old… even then she looks like she’s making magic from dust…)
Maybe I can see a little magic in this world, on my own. And to that lovely Rite Aid employee, I believe you ARE a princess. Because Maggie said so, and that’s good enough for me.