Monday, December 6, 2021

The Magic Makers

 I can feel it just starting to slip, this magic, as my oldest asks questions that poke at the edges of the mystery.

"Do you believe in Santa, Mom?"

"Why does Santa only bring stocking gifts?"

He knows and doesn't know. He suspects, but he's not sure he wants the answer. He's in 4th grade, and I know that his peers are starting to deconstruct Christmas. I'm sure a lot of the magic was never part of some of their traditions, and that's okay. It's no other family's job to keep up my family's traditions.

But it's just another in a long series of transitions that no one can quite prepare us for.

The Covid-19 lockdown definitely slowed down a lot of the growing up, and I don't mind that part of it, but here we are, back to "normal," and on we proceed with the steady march to adolescence.

It's hard, but I'm resisting the urge to double-down the magic, in fact, I realized that if I add too many layers, there's no way the magic can stand, and even the little ones may start to have questions. It was a big enough risk to add in a Kindness Elf.

The daily magic of our special friend is precarious, but my kids are both into it. Because this isn't the "official" elf, the rules can be bent a bit. They decided they can move our elf if they put gloves on, and they love to leave him gifts and set up little scenes - he drives the Lego truck my magical oldest built for him. He wrote his list for Santa. He keeps asking when St. Nick will bring him a new book. He's full of excitement and questions.

But there's something there, when my nine-year-old talks of the magic. It's almost too much belief. 

And I remember that in myself. I remember that desire for no one else to know that I was questioning things. I'd speak in a too loud voice about Santa. I'd strategically ignore the labels my grandma wrote on the inside of gifts from Santa - she desperately wanted me to stop believing...

I notice these same behaviors in my oldest child. It's a melancholy transition, and I'm not prepared for it.

But, oh, sweet boy, I see you. I know you're not ready to talk about it, but I know you're starting to question. It's okay, when you're ready, we will bring you into the fold of the magicians. You'll be a magic maker, and I know you will love it.

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