Saturday, April 5, 2014

I make childhood SO magical!

I haven't been very inspired to write lately. There isn't much going on worth noting, and the kids, while insanely cute and funny, haven't had too much going on. Anyway, I was on Facebook last night and finally decided to read this article: "I'm Done Making My Kids Childhood Magical". Contrary to most who read this, I disagree with much of this article.

The premise is this: that parents don't need to engage in the "extras" (vacations, decorations, Pinterest ventures, etc...) to make a magical childhood for their children because childhood is inherently magical. Ok, I am fine with that basic idea. Childhood is magical because, as a child, your world grows by leaps and bounds every single day. Your brain is literally on fire. Word acquisition. Skill acquisition. The first snow: magical. The first time you crawl up the stairs: magical. The first time you go down the slide by yourself: magical (and a little scary!). These things are pure magic because they are all firsts, and they are all new ways to explore the world. 

This is where my agreeing ends. I think the author misses the mark about travel and decorating and parties. She says that parents just do these things for their children, driven by some pressure to be the best parents ever. They work so hard to make things magical and special, and that doesn't need to happen. I will admit, I love to decorate for holidays, especially Christmas. I have done a Pinterest project or two (for better or worse) and really enjoyed trying something new. I plan fun parties for my kids for birthdays. I made their Halloween costumes. Here's the thing: I didn't do all of these things just for them. I didn't think, "wow, I am SO good at making magic for my kids!" I do these things because I enjoy doing them. Because I have very find memories of these things from my own childhood, and, as I got older, realized these are traditions that I want to continue, not only for my children, but for myself. 

I try cooking new things, and crafting new things because I think it's fun. Is it always for my kids, no, but sometimes it is. I decorate for Christmas because I love seeing the tree, and the cards, and my 600 Nativities. I love planning parties because I enjoy the company of family and friends. I enjoyed making Halloween costumes because I accomplished something new and I got to spend time with one of my best friends. If any of these things make my kids' childhood more "magical", well, that's cool. If not, well, that's cool, too. They bring plenty of fun, and magic, and awesome on their own. In fact, they remind me that life is, always, magical and to be celebrated. Why not involve them in the the things that brought me, and still bring me happiness? Isn't family about building and sharing traditions? 

I have a friend, Angela, who loves to travel. She shares that love with her daughters. Is it because she is thinking, "dang, I am making Ave and Kenzi's childhoods SO magical?" I doubt it. I would bet she is thinking, I love to travel, and I want my daughters to experience it. Maybe they, too, will love travel when they are older. Maybe not. In the process, though, they get to experience something that brings joy to their momma. That is pretty awesome.

My friend Sarah loves celebrating her Polish heritage. She and her family have amazing traditions that I know Sarah wants to pass onto her son, Jacob. These traditions will surely bring some magic to Jacob's childhood, but I doubt Sarah is thinking, "I am so awesome at fabricating magic!" These traditions bring her happiness, and connect her to her family. And, I am sure, were magical for her (and, really, probably still are magical for her).

So, parents, do what you do. If you want to craft, travel, cook, decorate, it! If you don't, then don't. At the end of the day, if your kids are loved, and their needs are met, then you are doing it right. I've never felt pressured by society to do, or not do, things for my children. I would bet most parents don't. Let your kids be kids, certainly, and, if you want to be crafty with them, travel with them, cook with them, do that, too. These things all help grow imaginations. Add to experiences, and can be just plain fun. And, really, isn't that what it's about: sharing, growing, and loving with your kids?
Four, hopeless, victims of magic. Taken 2 years ago. What?

Made this with Lily. Yep, we were crafty. She loved it!

The magic? That we got a picture of both kids and neither is trying to walk, crawl, get out of the picture.

Santa was very hungry this year. Magic.

Magic happening.


Another magical trip to the ocean.

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