“Every kid goes through a horse phase,” my older kids explained to my younger one. “Especially girls,” they added. My daughter just stood there holding a magazine with a tear-out horse poster, a look in her eye that accepted the wisdom that an extra four years on this Earth will get you.
They were right, or at least partially. I think going through phases is something done best by children as they grow up and try to figure out who they are and what they like to do. It also tends to go hand in hand with the latest and greatest toy that is advertised on TV, but I’ll just let them think they are freethinking explorers of the universe.
We were reminded again recently of a number of phases that our children all went through and as we dusted off wands and capes from the bowels of the basement, we were thankful that at least for one night, the phase had returned. That old black magic. The ability to witness the unthinkable, to disprove the laws of physics and common sense, to pull things from places where they certainly were not just mere seconds ago.
The fascination is timeless. I spent hours of my own childhood trying to handle a stripper deck with precision and hoping that my clothes wouldn’t catch on fire every time I ignited the flash paper in my palm. Now I’m watching my own kids master card tricks and off-colored massive plastic thumbs and I can’t help but sit back and be amazed.
(As a side note, watching kids perform magic tricks, over and over, for hours and hours, ad naseum, is often a true test of parenthood and should be rewarded with massages or clean bedrooms.)
Magic is a wonderment of childhood for any generation, it seems, and the more I think about it, the more it makes me smile. Why do kids love the unbelievable so much? And while seeing it is one thing, performing or making the magic…what makes that so special?
One of the best things about being a kid is that your whole life is an unknown. There are new and amazing things around every corner, being pulled out of hats and from behind ears. And if you’ve got good enough grownups around you, they will tell you that the world is your oyster and with the right attitude and hard work, you can be whatever you want to be and make your life whatever your heart desires. Essentially, your entire young life is one big, wonderful magic show.
And even when the cape doesn’t fit anymore, I can only hope that is one phase that my children never grow out of.
Originally written 2.14.16