Wednesday, November 14, 2007

the losing

Julie asks us this week to talk about what we've lost. Perhaps prompted by the recent fires in California, pondering what it might mean to lose so much in one fell swoop - memories, pictures, homes. But as I thought about it I realized what most of us realize when musing on things like this - that it's not the stuff we lose, but the losing itself.

Of everything I've ever lost in my life, I miss my magic most of all. I watch M and her whole world is overblown with magical creatures and silly surprises and joy in the mundane and a great hearty chuckle in the backseat of the car everywhere we go. She has this magic and I must assume I had this magic once too.

Can you miss something you don't remember but only vaguely recall and pretend to emulate?

I do. I miss the magic in lollipops and the core assumption that everyone exists for my own good time. I miss being tucked in at night and rainbows dancing on the wall while I sleep.

I miss the freedom that rides on the back of magic. The freedom to see the world as an exploratorium, a confetti laden bonanza candy coated thrill ride. To laugh at buses careening by and to scream in joy at a big red fire truck. To make pretend tea with three sugars and then take my lamb's temperature. To feed pretend tea with three sugars to my lamb while taking my own temperature. Easy bake ovens with real cakes. Real. Cakes. And a simple cuddle can solve every single problem I have.

Ants wandering in a line. Dragons and caterpillars. The merest thought of ice cream.

I lost this magic, this utter precocious appreciation for every single color and every single thing. Rampant wild joyous magic. It's this loss I mourn the most. And I thank all that is holy that I have been graced with a daughter who is kind enough to show me the way back. Back to the magic, back to myself.

43 comments:

Em said...

beautiful...

cce said...

I love this and it's so sadly true that we all lose our magic as we age.
To take the time to rediscover life as it is from a child's perspective is a beautiful thing.

Kyla said...

Oh, jen. This was beautiful. I miss it too. Some days more than I can say.

Her Grace said...

This is so true. I watch my kids play and get sheer joy out of it and wonder, "When did I lose that? When did I forget how to play?"

My goal is to raise them to be knowlegable women, but to not feel as jaded as I do today.

Mad Hatter said...

And it's a richer magic now with the knowledge of its loss.

Oh, The Joys said...

If it's any consolation, you seem as though you still have it to me.

Binky said...

A big part of the joy of having kids is mooching off their joy :)

flutter said...

Let me try this again :)

I says to the comment box, I says...

it is not too late to find her and to revel in her beauty like we all do

Persephone said...

Magic. I know what you mean.

liv said...

Good for you that you're able to post about what you've lost. Somehow, I think I'm scared to take it out of the boxes.

Emily R said...

Is that why, perhaps, we have children? To find our way back...

atypical said...

Here from Julie...

It startled me so much one time about 12 years ago to find myself hurrying my son along when he was glorying in the magic. It hit me then, that little by little I was going to cause him to lose his magic too if I continued on at that pace. I'm glad I didn't.

You've still got some of that magic. I know because a little of it rubbed off on me. when I came in the door.

-t

QT said...

I think you have more of it left in you that the average joe, friend. And that is a good thing.

I never understood the saying "Youth is wasted on the young" until I hit my thirties and realized it was going to become more and more true. We have no idea when we are looking at the world through those pure and innocent eyes how fortunate we are to not see, to not know, about misfortune.

But it was a great ride, and you get to live vicariously through M, who seems to have an extra-large dose of magical ability ~

Gwen said...

Those Easy Bake Cakes are actually pretty vile, speaking from experience. Even my daughters, who are sooo excited for them to appear, are not so excited when they eat them.

So there's some magic you don't really need to miss. :)

Blog Antagonist said...

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. There is a song by Mika called "Any Other World" and there is a line in it that says "say goodbye, to the world you thought you lived in." That line just about makes me want to sob, because I feel as if I have been doing just that for some time now.

I miss the perspective of youth.

Amy Y said...

That is one of the biggest perks of having kids, I think. Looking at life, magically, through their eyes.

Great post, as always :)

kristen said...

thank you.

Annie said...

I know the magic you talk about and I am so happy to have two fantastic kids who give me the best excuse to revel in it all over again. It's wonderful!

Julie Pippert said...

Really, really lovely contribution.

I agree with OTJ that you seem like you still have it.

Julie
Using My Words

Janet said...

You have conveyed some kind of magic here, with these words, if it's any consolation.

Momish said...

But see, you didn't lose it! You channeled into M so she too could have it for herself.

And really, is it not even better the second time around?

meno said...

May i submit that we find the magic in different things? Our kids, the larger world, fall leaves. Things we did not notice as children, because we were in our own world.

Lawyer Mama said...

Ah, but at least you can see the magic in M. And that's something special too.

melissa said...

Thanks for the awesome post!

Beck said...

Oh, that's sad. But it's also the reason why we work so hard to make our children's childhoods special, too.

painted maypole said...

fantastic. children are good for finding the lost parts of our souls, if we'll just let them show us the way.

Sugarplum's Mom said...

I don't think you lost it.. I think you are just discovering it. You didn't know you had that magic until life got more complicated. To be able to recognize and delight in the same things as our children, to know that we are taking time out to simply play and put worry and stress on hold for awhile, to make that connection with our children, that is what is truly magical.

mamatulip said...

That's one of the things I love the most about being a mom...I feel like my kids are showing me so many things that I have forgotten about.

The Expatriate Chef said...

I love the being silly again and dancing to no music whatsoever. What a gift a child is.

I miss being whole and being fearless amidst an often unkind world. I'd like to get back there so I could be there for my child.

Jennifer said...

Your words are magical. I don't think it's lost to you -- maybe just transformed?

we_be_toys said...

That was beautiful. I think children are the gateway back to that belief in magic - to making magic tangible to adults. There are moments that I'm doing stuff with the kids; frosting cookies, dyeing eggs, snuggling and telling made up stories; and I catch a whiff of something that takes me back to my own childhood. I think that is the magic of having children.

Julie said...

Delurking to tell you how much I enjoyed this post. Next to my desk, right near my left elbow, I've got a small bumper sticker that says, "We find magic everywhere." I've always liked that because I, too, mourn the loss of youthful exuberance and innocence.

crazymumma said...

I lost being able to fly.

and i did fly. I remember it. It was early morning and I flew across the driveway in the fog.

no one saw, but I flew. I was about5.

As to loss. physical loss? Don't even get me started.

Tabba said...

you are marvelous.
and so is this post.

Anjali said...

Another post to make me smile so big!

slouching mom said...

but i think we get to experience a bit of it again *through* our children's experience of it. maybe?

mitzh said...

Hmm this made me teary eyed.
I miss those magic, too...

Beautiful, amazing post!

donmillsdiva said...

Wow - what a beautiful post. Thanks for writing this. I'm loving your blog.

Jenn said...

Really, Jen, what a beautiful, inspiring post.

ms chica said...

If you recognize the magic in M, you haven't lost it. She will show you how to recapture a piece if you keep paying attention.

Christine said...

i can just taste those little pink strawberry cakes, too.

oh to have that magic back.

Orangeblossoms said...

god i love this post.....

Hel said...

One day when you come and visit we will sit under the tree together.

We will sit so still that after a while time will stop. And the silent singing of the trees will remind us that magic lives in us always. Even when we forget to remember.