I recently told a coworker about some fire ant bites my daughter M had suffered over the weekend. We’d been exploring the creek behind a friend’s house when M stepped in a nest. Fire ant bites hurt. While M is tough, her tears had been quite the sight and her screams piercing.
My coworker smiled at me and pulled a small vial out of her purse. “This,” she told me, “is how we treat ant bites. Pixie dust.”
In her hand, she held a container of glitter.
“It’s body glitter. It really works on ant bites for 6-year-olds.”
Now that is some brilliant parenting.
That evening, I told my 9-year-old twin daughters about this conversation. They smiled at the gullible nature of children so much younger than they.
“We wouldn’t fall for that,” J told me. “We’re too grown-up to believe in fairies.”
“Yes,” M agreed, but quickly added, “But of course we believe in magic. Like the magic that powers Santa’s sleigh.”
“Of course,” J allowed. “And the magic that makes the Easter Bunny pink.”
“The Easter Bunny is not pink. The Easter bunny is grey and white. The magic part is how big he is and he gets everyone eggs for their egg hunts.”
“Grey and white.”
“Pink. With a fluffy tail.”
“Ugh. But magical.”
My girls, on the verge of tweendom, still have their magic. Their stuffed toys are alive to them, filled with personality, each unique. Santa is real, and the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. I know how soon this will be gone, my growing girls learning to be resigned to the humdrum of life.
May they always have some magic, like the magic they’ve brought to my life.