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Magic Wands in the Dark

Footnotes: Thoughts from the margins of a mom's life

June 2014

As the mother of two toddlers I greet bedtime with a great deal of enthusiasm. Lately I've been reading aloud Locomotive by Brian Flocka. At bedtime I am like Flocka's train. I haul us all, with much jangling and pushing, over the final mountain toward a sweet rest. Once the kids are in bed, I live by a golden rule. Never disturb a quiet child. But last night I broke my rule.

After reading Locomotive, after final kisses and cups of water, I went downstairs. And there I found it: a glow-in-the-dark magic wand, tucked inside a birthday party goodie bag. I thought it was a pen, until I happened to bend it slightly. Then I heard the telltale crack and saw bright blue liquid filling the cylinder. Oooh. It was reminiscent of a thousand childhood summer nights.

At the birthday party that afternoon my son had seen a magician pull a rabbit from a hat and make coins disappear. He'd been captivated. "How fun would it be," I thought to myself, "for William to wave this wand right now?" Acting on impulse, I climbed the stairs and opened his bedroom door.

William stirred. "What's that?" he mumbled sleepily. Then, with more enthusiasm, "What's that?" He grabbed the wand from my hand and waved it back and forth, gazing at the eerie color in the darkness. I made to slip out the door, but he stopped me. "Mommy," he whispered. "Will you stay here with me?"

My heart ballooned with a special pleasure. Of course I would wait. And bedtime could wait, too. As he lifted the wand and cried "Welcome ladies and gentlemen," I smiled in the darkness. This was his own summer night, his own childhood memory. And giving it to him was a special magic for me, too, well worth breaking my golden rule.

Tags: Footnotes, In This Issue

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