The other day my niece came to show me her new little toiletry bag. As uneventful as it sounds, when you live on the other side of the planet to your family, being able to visit and be present for those little moments is a treasure.
She then informed me however, of her problem of not being able to fit her toothbrush into the bag since they were of a similar size. I noted her frustration and asked if I could give it a try.
A wiggle and a jiggle and a basic knowledge of angles sorted the problem out and her toothbrush was soon firmly wedged into the bag. Upon handing it back to her, my niece asked how I did that, to which I replied: “Magic” with whimsy and thought nothing else of it.
As the packing for a visit to Granny’s house continued, my nephew came to me with his back pack in one hand a book of equal width in the other. Having seen my toothbrush Tetris skills he asked me to fit said book into his bag. While I wasn’t convinced it could, I said I would try but wouldn’t be able to promise anything. He then looked up at me, directly in the eyes, and said: “Magic?”
In less than a second my heart melted, felt a massive sense of responsibility, understood the potential gravity of the words we use everyday and the consequences we couldn’t even imagine. Luckily I did manage to fit the book into his bag (phew) and I was warmed by the innocence of his request and his belief in my imaginary skills.
Being an adult and chronic over-thinker, this snowball of an idea quickly turned into an avalanche in my mind. I started contemplating not only a child’s literal belief in magic, but remembering how amazing that felt, the wonder it inspired and how I miss that as an adult where cynicism seems to be the immediate reaction to most things.
I started feeling how magical it was to be on holiday in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Being grateful for a daily blue sky and warmth despite still feeling exhausted, and that we are all capable of incorporating a little magic into our own lives by how we choose to view the world.
Relating this story to my mum that evening, I had just made myself a snack when it was time to head back home. Rummaging through my mum’s drawer of containers, I realised I would have to perform my third magic trick of the day by fitting a hot dog shaped roll into a square Tupperware.
As I now sit thinking about this, and chuckling to myself, I want to consciously take on board that sense of responsibility for seeing the magic, and the potential for it in everyday. While not the abracadabra sort, my nephew has shown me it does indeed exist, and now its up to me to find it. I shall also endeavor to be mindful of my choice of adjectives, especially around little ears.