It took four kids, one dog, two parents, one shift to homeschool, 9899 tantrums and time outs for me to realize that if I don’t find something for the kids to do, they are going to either argue (default) or find something way cooler than I could have ever conjured for them.
And so it was today, as we were closing in on the end of spring break, when they came running into the house calling for me. I was sure someone had broken a bone.
Or a window..
Fortunately luck was on my side and all glass panels and children’s bones were intact.
I couldn’t say the same for my mental state. But relief followed and when my heart was no longer in my throat I could listen to them.
The boys were calling for me to come and see the remnants of a “magical tree house“ that they had found in the woods.
Yelling, out of breath and brimming with excitement, they raced to finish each other’s sentences. The words poured out of their mouths like an open spigot. They has found proof of MAGIC in the woods.
It had to be magic! They had explored every inch of those woods and they had never seen the tree house before today. But there it was, broken moss-covered wood beams glimmering in the sun.
The tree house was in pieces but they could tell it was important. It was guarded by a snake (yikes!) that stared right at them! (Fortunately it was just a garter snake). They needed me to come NOW!
But I had to think about this guy.
So I left him with our nanny, Radar.
Just kidding, but in all seriousness she does do a great job, cleaning the way for him.
When I got there, I did my best to celebrate their discovery. I am always raining on their parades, and today I wanted them to really dive into that feeling of magic. One can lose it so easily.
And it‘s true, for some reason I, too, had never noticed the old structure, probably an abandoned hunting post, decades old and unused. When I looked at it through their bright, hopeful, carefree eyes I could see the magic too. It was magnificent.
When I look through my own, I need to call upon so much to see more than a heap of tetanus-carrying rubble that‘s getting in the way of math worksheets.
That’s the rub with adulting. In all of our doing of it, we can lose sight. And here I thought I was the teacher.
From now on, I want to look through the boys’ eyes at least a little every day. I have to, for all our sakes.
Tonight I hope you have a lens to see magic in the rubble too.