Preserving The Magic

Have you ever looked at a child and thought to yourself, “Never grow up! Never lose the innocence and belief I see in your eyes!”

Dear Readers, as you know, I have 4 grandchildren. What you might not know is as of the first weekend of July 2015, they and their parents (our daughter Beth and son-in-law Tom) all live with us. They moved in with their cats for at least a year. So overnight, my interactions with my grandchildren went from an occasional event to a daily normality.

Allow me to indulge myself for a moment and refresh your memory of them, as I do some Nana-bragging on them. (“Nana” is what they call me. “Papa” is my husband.) Keyna is 7, a talkative 2nd-grade drama queen. She loves playing video games and reading. Ariel is 5, and in preschool due to being born 12 days past the deadline to be in kindergarten for our school district this year. She is stubborn and often unintentionally very funny, and loves to take risks and try new things. Tommy is 3 1/2, and in the same preschool as Ariel. He is opinionated and loves all things with wheels, from cars and trucks to trains. Samantha is 1 1/2 and not in school. She likes to be tickled and to have people make faces at her, as well as her “blankie.”

Something happened recently between myself and Keyna that prompted this post. As a 7-year-old, Keyna has begun the process of losing her baby teeth in favor of her permanent ones. Currently, she is losing one about every two weeks or so, and the pediatrician told Tom and Beth this process will continue until she is about 10.

When Beth and her brother David were small, we kept the tradition of the Tooth Fairy alive and well for both of them, rewarding them for every lost tooth. To our pleasure, Tom and Beth continue actively in the tradition. To our complete delight, they have also chosen to involve us whenever possible.

Recently, it was my turn to help out. Keyna’s attention was diverted with breakfast before church. I was heading upstairs to our bedroom to finish dressing. Tom pulled me aside and gave me the tiny envelope they use for the Tooth Fairy’s work. He asked me to put it under Keyna’s pillow and call her upstairs. I did as requested, and called her.

However, when I called Keyna, I decided to dramatize the event for our tiny drama queen. I called her up the stairs telling her I’d heard noises and needed her to come and investigate. I described the noises as, “twinkles and sparkles.” I asked her, “Keyna! Do you know what makes the sound of twinkles and sparkles?!?!?” Keyna replied in all seriousness that stars do.

Smothering back a chuckle, I said, “Well, stars do make those noises, but they’re so far away we can’t hear them. Do you know what else makes the noises of twinkles and sparkles??” Keyna looked puzzled and said she didn’t. I told her it was Faries! I said, “I bet the Tooth Fairy heard you lost a tooth recently, and came to take it! I bet the Tooth Fairy thought we were all downstairs and it would be safe, and I caught it! Go check under your pillow and see if I’m right!”

It was an ecstatically excited 7-year-old who went next racing for her bedroom to find the envelope from her father I’d placed under her pillow. She squealed with excitement and happiness and flew downstairs to show off what she’d found, hollering the story the whole way. Keyna couldn’t stop talking about how Nana caught the Tooth Fairy in the act.

In this day and age when middle schools have to have rules for cell phone use, when clothes in the children’s’ section make little girls look like mature sexy women, when political correctness and fear of sexual harassment run amok, it’s always good to preserve the innocence in a child just a little bit longer. I believe it is the job of parents and grandparents (and other caring adults) to be the adults and to let children be children. We are adults far longer than we are children. This hurry to make them grow up is incomprehensible to me.

So my little adventure with Keyna and the Tooth Fairy is about me striking back at this pervasive attitude in our culture. As I said in the title of this post, it’s about preserving the magic, encouraging the wonder that is Keyna’s childhood, just a little bit longer. 

And you know what? Maybe we adults need a bit of that wonder, mystery, and joy ourselves. Maybe that’s why our culture is so cynical and jaded because we’ve lost so much of it in our headlong rush to be adults. May we all find and enjoy wonder and joy like a child on our journey together.


Wee Thoughts — Welcome To Our World!

It is astonishing to me that I have faithful readers and followers.  I find it remarkable you want to know what I have to say on stuff.  Additionally, you actually expect me to update them on what is going on in my life.  To say the very least, I am greatly appreciative to all of you!!

Those of you who do read here often know I am a wife, mother and grandmother.  I want to introduce you to my grandchildren, as a way of welcoming our third, born today.  Their parents are our daughter Beth and her husband Tom.

The eldest, Keyna, is 3 1/2.   She is bright, engaging and verbal.  She likes “Dora The Explorer, ” Elmo and cats.  Her favorite color is pink.  Her favorite stuffed toy is the Yankee Bear Pillow Pet I wrote about in “Pink Diaper Bags and Yankee Bears.”  She likes to play with puzzles and cook pretend food in her toy kitchen.  “Let’s Pretend” is her favorite game.  Keyna loves the slides at the park!  She is afraid of loud noises, blow dryers, our swimming pool and hair spray.  Keyna’s favorite food (and our favorite bribery tool!) is strawberries.  She is somewhat reluctant to try new foods, like her father.  Keyna has to wear sneakers during the week for preschool, and loves nothing better than to escape into cowboy boots or sandals on the weekends.  Keyna is very proud of being in potty training.  Keyna also loves books and music, and is learning her letters and numbers.

Ariel is 1 1/2.  She is learning to talk, and will sometimes say proper words and phrases.  She likes classical music and cats.  Her favorite color is purple.  Her favorite stuffed toy is an Elmo.  Ariel likes to play with dominoes, and have Papa (my husband) make rows of them for her to knock down.  She loves to laugh. She is stubborn, and like her mother before her, appears to be entering her two’s, with all their defiance and willful stubbornness early.  She loves bouncing on willing knees!  Ariel loves the swings at the park!  Ariel, like her mother at that age, does not seem to be afraid of much of anything.  Ariel’s favorite food is yogurt smoothies, though she will eat about anything.  Ariel is still in diapers at this point.  Ariel loves to listen to story books.

Today we welcome to our family a new member.  His name is Tommy, and he is Keyna and Ariel’s little brother.  He made his appearance at 4:45pm.  He arrived at 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and 19 1/4 inches long.  We were able to visit and see him in the nursery, at a distance, and not to take photos today.  Daddy was, and his photo is below.

We don’t know what Tommy will like, or his favorite color, or what will make him laugh.  We don’t know what stuffed toy will become his favorite, what will make him fearful or what he will like to eat.  Tommy’s world is a blank slate, as is the world of all newborns.  It is ready to be shaped by his parents, us as his grandparents, his sisters, his schooling and his life.  Today, baby Tommy begins a journey of discovery we all began at birth, and which we still hopefully will continue until our deaths.

So, welcome to our world, baby Tommy.  We’re glad you’re here.  Welcome to our family.  We’re glad God chose you for us.  And in a world of hatreds and prejudices, welcome to the only race in the world that counts — the human race.

Ariel and Keyna January 2012

Tommy , born 6/4/12