And yes, of course it’s purple and glittery.
When my kids were little this crab was the epitome of the mysterious and the impossible…made possible. It was a physical manifestation of the power of the unknown.
We would sit across from each other, the crab between us. With whatever was handy – a towel, a shirt, a blanket – I’d ceremoniously cover the crab. Sometimes we used a wand, sometimes not. The method of our magic was the same each time:
1) close your eyes
2) say the magic words (I usually suggested “Abracadabra, crab disappear!”…clearly, I’m no J.K. Rowling)
And every time they opened their sparkling eyes, the crab was gone. Disappeared!
Then after a minute or two of proving the crab wasn’t hiding anywhere nearby, my kids would inevitably desire it’s return, so the process repeated in reverse with the incantation “Abracadabra, crab reappear!”.
Voila! The crab came back. Magic, once again, was proven real.
But the longer this game went on and the older my kids got, the more they started to doubt the truth of it. Then they began trying to prove their doubt.
Their weakening of trust in what they were experiencing didn’t seem to come from the game itself, but rather the critical thinking that had seeped in as a result of the doubts they were learning to have in the world in general. The inevitable disappointments in life were starting to become a part of not just their experiences, but also their expectations.
It was in those moments when I sat across from my kids and saw the cynicism skim lightly but definitively across their expressions – watching their faces go from “all in” to “wait a minute” and then to “I hope so” that broke my heart. Talk about an analogy to life.
As much as I want my kids to be discerning, everything in me wanted to encourage the “I hope so” before it slipped into nonbelief, because whenever in life everything we’ve built has burned, crumbled, drowned, been blown away, or otherwise demolished, hope is all we have left.
It has to exist as a strong foundation.
Hope as I’m defining it isn’t about desire or yearning or want; hope is awareness that there is always enough, even if it doesn’t look like what you expected. Hope is the exercise of opening consciousness, and it’s fed with gratitude.
I want my kids to be critical thinkers. I want them to be worldly enough to be safe, to not fall for anything and everything, to know when to take a risk or a challenge and when to walk away. But I also want them to have the balance of open, hopeful hearts.
For me, that’s found in the power of magic.
Magic reminds us of the infinite and all that we don’t know. Magic reminds us there’s more to life even when we feel closed in, or when other people are playing games we don’t know or like. You have to walk through the door in your heart and BELIEVE in order to find whatever it is you need to manifest.
See, it doesn’t matter how the crab disappeared and reappeared…just that it did and that their faith made it happen. I wasn’t about to shatter that belief, so we stopped playing with the magic crab and started talking about the power of our thoughts. I keep the magic crab in my room where they can see it; they still ask me to this day if it was real, and I always say “It’s whatever you choose to believe.”
Then they ask me if I believe, and I always say “Yes.”
If we create our realities with our thoughts – as quantum physics seems to be proving, then I want my kids’ thoughts to be built on the infinite magic of hope.Share