What comes to mind when someone uses the phrase prolonging the magic?
The world is a big, bad and scary place, even if you’re treating it right. Children, who have no idea of what it is really like, need to be protected as long as possible. Not to the point that they don’t experience anything – that’s stupid and ultimately counter-productive – but so that they can afford to stay children for as long as they need to. Every child will have a different rate of growth, or a different level of maturity, even against their immediate peers. Forcing maturity on them too early is not only frightening, but horribly cruel and unfair.
I don’t necessarily mean like preserving the myth of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy either, I mean things like not sending your kids off to work (even if they’re the cutest little things in the world and would make brilliant stars of this [insert generic name here] new TV show), or forcing them to look after younger siblings because you are too busy/drunk/drugged up to do so yourself.
I mean things like sharing a cuddle with them when they graze their knee instead of insisting that they ‘suck it up.’
Something Dave still does with his youngest, is put on silly voices for objects in the house or while we’re out driving, and she’s nine now! All traffic lights, for instance, are Mexican (I don’t know why Mexican; you’ll have to ask him!) and have rather silly conversations with us until its time to drive on. Josie giggles like a loon every time; she loves it!
That’s the sort of magic I’m talking about. The ability to look at the world and see it as fresh, clean, new and something to experience and be fascinated by, rather than something to fight against or be afraid of. Because let’s face it, the world is an amazing place and, as adults, its only because we’ve gotten so busy and wrapped up in being ‘grown ups’ that we forget that and loose the ability to see it.
If they had the vocabulary, skill and inclination for it, children would make incredible fantasy writers; because they have the ability to see things like none of the rest of us can. That’s the magic that needs to be prolonged.
My 80 Post Challenge is brought to you with help from Tom Slatin’s 80 Journal Writing Prompts.