I have been growing up with my children for the last nine years and they have shared so much ‘magic’ with me and they are part of the reason that I have learned to trust, love and open my heart up to humanity in a deeper way.
There is a contradiction that I have often encountered as I have learnt to parent concerning what is called ‘The magic of childhood.’ Many of us seek to give our children an experience of magic in their lives but why is it we seek to deliver trips to Disneyland, are not honest about who brings presents and queue up for hours to meet a Father Christmas in a shopping mall etc.
This has got me pondering why, as parents, we so easily fall into the behaviours of the generations before us and knowingly perpetuate the cultural myths of the Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas etc. as if there is no other way of bringing up our children?
The so called ‘magic of childhood,’ such as the Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas, pale into insignificance when we allow ourselves to appreciate the moments of true connection and joy that can be shared with one another.
The ‘magic’ of Christmas, Easter bunnies, birthdays, is big business, and many of us can feel the pressure to get the right present, to have everything perfect for these events in the year. And while it is fantastic to stop rushing around, spend quality time with people around us, have a party or share a meal, as parents is it possible that we can be somewhat reliant on cultural mythologies and savvy marketing campaigns to bring an element of ‘magic’ to our children’s lives –– but what are they really experiencing?
Could it be that ‘magic’ is right there in front of our eyes in all moments, at all times of the year? And if so, what is magic – and do our birthdays, Christmas Day or any of our cultural icons have anything to do with it?
What do we do when our child asks, “Did you buy this for me?” concerning a present under the tree, or when they are uncooperative one day and we decide to bring out the, “Be good or Santa won’t be coming” story… Do we consider what we are bringing into our relationships with our children when we do not respond to them with honesty? Could the words we choose to answer with, if not honest, actually begin to degrade the very sense of magic, wonder and joy that is naturally alive within every child?
I suggest that appreciating magic in our lives has a lot to do with appreciating the gold that is in our lives on a daily basis and being as open, sincere and honest as we can be in our relationships.
Feeling a sense of magic in life is very much about nurturing and keeping alive the innocence, sensitivity and openness that children are born with and which, potentially even into adulthood, we can maintain.
Is it possible that magic is everywhere – it just happens that we keep getting distracted by a false light because it comes with glitters and sparkles? Could that ‘false light’ be flashing at us like false advertising on a neon sign…. selling us short-term solutions and investments when it comes to the ‘magic’ of life, rather than us having to look with honesty at the cynicism, reactions and hard shells that we develop as we grow into adults?
Are we already clouded by a cultural idea that thinks that we can not maintain and live with a wonder and magic of life at any age? Is it truly a natural progression in life to not feel magic and become cynical as we mature?
When we reflect on our experiences, it is our relationships and moments of connection that have true meaning – not what we buy, do or have.
What maintains and supports a knowing and sense of innocence and magic in a child’s life (something we all know at the birth of a child) is when they feel they are seen for who they are and appreciated and accepted.
- Knowing that if they have a question to ask, they will know that their parents will answer that question with honesty, to the best of their ability.
- Knowing that if the world gets tricky and slippery, they have some open and loving arms to come to and be held in.
- Knowing that when their parents make mistakes, they can apologise.
- Knowing that they were born more than enough, and they never need to seek anything outside of themselves to prove who they are.
- Knowing that their parents are role-modelling letting go of their ‘stuff’ so that together they can be more loving, because living with love is more important to them than holding on to any ‘stuff.’
- Knowing that if they feel something that is not true, their parents will support them to honour what they have felt.
- That when they look up, and look at their parents straight in the eye, they connect and are with them in full – to the best of their ability.
The magic of childhood does not need to leave us in adulthood. It is felt through the quality in which we live every day, which can include:
- The knowing of the true light that shines bright within every one of us when we connect with each other.
- Exploring the oneness, wonder and expanse of the universe.
- How Love can be felt and lived.
- Appreciating ourselves and one another.
- Being aware of the natural order expressed in nature: the signs, symbols, connections and synchronicity of life. I observe this daily in the branches of a tree (how each one has its place in balance), the shape and texture of a flower’s petals, the people I have around to reflect something to learn and appreciate, the rainbow in a raindrop, the light changing throughout the day, a full moon, observing the cycle of night and day and raising my head and taking in the stars.
Being open to the wonder and magic of life as an adult is a way of role-modelling the quality we so seek to sustain within our children.
This is where, as parents, we have the opportunity to be a true role model, to live in the quality that supports our children, inspiring them by how we live responsibly and with care for our own health and wellbeing; by appreciating what is reflected in life and learning from it, with the understanding that this underpins everything we do and say. The old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do,” is something that many parents are familiar with, but the thing is we are all hypocrisy radars and sniff out inconsistency before a word has been spoken.
There is magic all around us, at all times. It can be felt and it can be lived in the smallest interaction through honouring what we feel and appreciating ourselves and others. We all have the power to choose to commit to building a life with more consistency and care. It takes commitment but it is so enriching, nurturing and joyful to explore true magic throughout the year, rather than being reliant on what is sold to us seasonally or keeping it for so called ‘special’ occasions – whether it be appreciating what the seasons reflect to us, being aware of bird song, how the sky changes, a sunset, bringing nature into the home with flowers, the sparkle in someone’s eye, enjoying the warmth of the sun on your back.
By the way, this does not mean a life desolate of dressing up, gifts, rituals and playfulness. Parties can still be planned and enjoyed and the changing ages, cycles and seasons marked and celebrated. Life has so many moments to mark, confirm and enjoy, be it coming together for a meal, allowing our bodies to rest as the day comes to a close, dancing together, appreciating our relationships and expressing it, choosing a gift from a place of love and celebrating our lives as they unfold through the years.
When it comes to parenting, what will our children reflect upon when the years have passed? In this world that can be at times chaotic, cynical, dishonest, unloving and scary, could it be that there was a beacon of light and consistency, a parent without perfection that honoured who they are, truly listened and was honest with them? A parent who shared the wonder of how life and nature reflect back to us who we are?
How would this prepare a child for adulthood while holding and nurturing that light of true magic within?
Just take a moment and look into a child’s eyes without expectation or a guard. Be open to the love and light that resides within (if you don’t have a child near you, it works just as well with an adult). See that sparkle and light shine and you will know there is true magic right there… within us all.
Building true relationships and positive parenting
Do Our Kids Want a ‘Better’ Life or a ‘Connected Life’?
Leave the stuffing for the Christmas turkey
Living in Cycles of the seasons, moon, sun, stars and understanding the meaning of what numerically that brings every year is also deepening our relationships with the heaven and these opening us to deepen our relationship with everyone including the young children around us. So as we are living more in-tune with what is innately within us the Joy and lived wisdom is openly shared on each new cycle and that develops a relationship that comes from our Livingness that is True-Love / Non-imposing-Love and innate within us all.
There is so much magic in life that can’t be capitalised on.
In repeating the myths of Father Christmas and the tooth fairy we are teaching our children that it is ok to tell lies. There is magic in going for a walk and finding an acorn and realising that it is a seed that can grow into a magnificent tree.
Appreciation is a key component in every relationship as it builds intimacy and then when we have these two, which can never be separated we are evolving together! Imagine that appreciation of our essences all inclusive, and true-intimacy with our children and we all evolve and then we can take these understanding, which is simply our Livingness to humanity and they get this amazing reflection, now that is the magic of Christ-mass every day.
Yes, there is an appreciation of life and nature that we brush over because we are so busy getting to the next thing on our list. Oh to make space to be in the moment with each other and the wonder of the Universe we live within.
I have learnt more about life from my children than I ever have in the education system and therefore I value the wisdom of children, their questions and the detachment from ideals and beliefs. As a result I know I will be a student of children to the end of my days.
I agree with you Lucy, when my daughter was growing up she always seemed to come out with such gems about life and people you could tell that she was tapping into a wisdom that was beyond her years and later as an adult she has this ability to take something complicated and break it down into the simplicity so that no one is left feeling that they don’t understand the subject being discussed.
[…] Reading: Every Move Matters The Magic of Childhood Explored Crying out for connection: technology and […]
Children are amazingly sensitive it is our job to honour that sensitivity and make sure that that sensitivity is not blocked but nurtured to ensure their own wellbeing and the wellbeing for generations to come.
We are all amazingly sensitive and therefore is it possible because we have not nurtured or honoured the sensitivity we all cannot help but feel we have hardened ourselves and so we go around in a protective shell and because we live so protected it enables us to abuse ourselves and others because of this lost connection to our innate sensitivity
Children are so in the moment with exactly what is there which is themselves and whatever is happening around them. They don’t bring in anything else to impose at all as judgements and comparison are just not a part of their world.
In all the madness and chaos that is our world it is wise and caring to remember the magic we felt as children; the innate sense and insight we had about the world. This helps me see how far we have strayed from what is true and important, whilst also reigniting a spark in me about love and learning.
What I love about being around young children is that the tenderness and care I feel for them inspires me to ‘re-parent’ myself… as in apply the same qualities of holding, support and understanding with myself and then naturally everyone I meet in a day. From my past and choices I have been too quick to judge and criticise, when I now realise that life is all about learning, ongoingly, and to truly learn we need to feel safe and loved.
Keeping magic alive in our lives is gorgeous, I so love magic moments, ‘Feeling a sense of magic in life is very much about nurturing and keeping alive the innocence, sensitivity and openness that children are born with and which, potentially even into adulthood, we can maintain.’
Such a great blog. As I read this I am reminded of an occasion at work where a 3 year old was witnessing another child and an Educator hugging after not seeing each other for a while. The child’s body that was watching, just lit up and she had the most appreciative smile on her face. Then I myself felt this divine exchange and appreciation through her and felt the magic within that simple moment.
‘Be open to the love and light within’. Once this love and light within is felt, being open to it emanating though us is the only thing that makes sense.
‘I have been growing up with my children…’
I have read this article a few times and this phrase landed for me today with a bang. If we let ourselves be in relationships with life as a forever developing process, knowing that every day there are rich opportunities to learn, we will always be growing up.
Well said. It takes the pressure off knowing it all doesn’t it! We grow up together and we unlearn so many things when children come along. Let’s embrace being more open to needing to have all the answers but to settle into wondering and considering together, then we will go to the experience of others and use education in a much more practical way rather than to define who we are and our worth in life.
Could it be that so many have a difficulty with trust because we learned how many untruths our parents told us, such as the tooth fairy, Father Christmas etc….? What do we feel when we find out the truth about these fictitious beings?
As adults, we have lost the ability to see the magic of God all around us and want to recapture those feelings of wonder we had so readily as a child. But what we end up with is a fake, watered down version of a distant memory which we recreate in the hope of feeling that again. What we as adults don’t realise is that the magic of God has never left us, we are the ones that let it go and can just as easily get it back – without making up stories.
I have always felt cheated on when finding out the truth from my parents little white lies. As a kid, I just felt abused and treated like if I didn’t exist when finding out the real side of the story
Tonight we were talking about how Coca Cola coined the idea of Father Christmas / and it reminded me how we can impose such a strong belief system in society but in this we forget the truth of things.
Great point and it reminds me to be alert to the source and origin of things rather than just blindly accepting what is on the surface.
The magic of childhood is so much more than just Father Christmas or the tooth fairy. The magic of childhood is being able to see life through the child’s eyes and reconnect to the magic of God in the most simplest of things, just hearing a child giggle to me is up there as one of the most delightful sounds on earth because it brings a smile to our hearts.
Yes, and so infectious one can’t help but smile and laugh too. It can light up a whole rail carriage.
Letting myself be touched by a child’s approach to life reminds me that I too know this relationship with life and that this sparkle is alive in me too.
I just adore how a young baby or child’s eyes can bring us back to magic – their own and ours too.
This is a great reminder to those of us who, as we were leaving our childhood behind took on the seriousness of life…but, as you say so wisely “The magic of childhood does not need to leave us in adulthood.”. It is actually a natural part of us so therefore it never leaves us, we simply bury under all those serious layers, until reminded by the joy of a child and the magic they offer us, we make the choice to access it once again.
Ingrid I love this, it does not need to leave us behind anywhere or at anypoint. The magic is always there, yet like so many others we are told we do leave it behind. That is the great evil that we can eradicate by supporting our kids to be all they are and with that all the magic they are. Of course we have to live that first.
The realisation that the ‘magic of childhood’ has never left us inspires and touches me. And I love it when awe and wonder bust out again!
And the space to be themselves. Yes, Gill, we have a responsibility to nurture these opportunities for children and actually re-parent ourselves with them too.
Just looking into the eyes of the boy in the photograph offers me a well of inspiration and realisation about the richness and depth of our natural connection with each other and our true qualities.
Oh my goodness – the stunning richness and depth to be found in this child and all children, if we allowed ourselves to access them is pure inspiration indeed.
Yes the now and then aspect, magic saved for special occasions is a loss to children as they grow. Being aware of every day amazingness and grandness makes life rich.
Magic lives when we are honouring our sensitivity. Deny it and life feels flat, 2 dimensional…
Being transparent and honest with children is a great foundation for their life. They respond to being respected and treated as equals in this way. To discover that parents you trust have been colluding in the myths and lies about Father Christmas and the tooth fairy etc leaves wariness of the energy of deception and the birth of mistrust with others throughout life is born.
“Being transparent and honest with children” is not only a growing a strong foundation for the life ahead of them, it also has an impact on our lives and on out to the world. For the more we tell the truth, the more truth is rippled out into the world, shaking the evil foundation of the corruption that is so rife wherever we look. An honest world begins with acknowledging and supporting the honesty of our children and living it ourselves.
“The magic of childhood does not need to leave us in adulthood” – agree, magic isn’t assigned to the number of years spent on earth; it can be at every and any age.. it’s how we are within ourselves that initiates this way of being and relating.
Validating a child sense of knowing what is happening in life is raising them in their true essence and nature.
Turns out it is not just for children, as an adult returning to Soul, magic is alive and well and growing as a way of life and being. Magic is there for all of us, it is in a feeling, breathing, being. Stillness holds us and magic unfolds when we begin to be open to it in life.
There is always magic there to behold, both within and without, in the young and the old.
There sure is Chris we just need to be open to it and often it can come at the most unexpected of times!
Yes, and I so love the magic.
“Is it truly a natural progression in life to not feel magic and become cynical as we mature?” – I know for myself that I’m only ever cynical when I am not in-love with love. When I feel love, I feel a magic.
Me too Zofia and it is definitely not a natural progression in life to lose the sense and feeling of magic we feel as children. It is a reality for most but that does not make it normal or natural.
I love this…..”We are the magic…”….I in truth have very little to add….this quote stands elegantly asks us all to consider the truth that we are the magic, will we allow ourselves to feel the divine light that shines from every one of us equally and so not look outside for answers but surrender to what naturally is within.
So much wiser instead of imposing our idea of magic, especially when we are not living it ourselves, to let ourselves be inspired by the everyday magic which children are so open to, reconnect to that for ourselves and to support them in every way to remain in such a love-full relationship with life regardless of the challenges they may face
As children we enjoy being us in life, but it seems as adults we tend to look to life to make us feel alive after we begin to attach to its way rather than our own. It’s in our own connection we unlock that magic in life.
Its rather depressing when we walk around in a cynical way only seeing the negative in life. I remember those days of magic as a child and be loving every moment that I connected to it. So to be at an age and I can start to feel that coming back with the support of living The Way of The Livingness life is taking a turn for what it is really capable of and not settling for less than what we deserve.
“Is it truly a natural progression in life to not feel magic and become cynical as we mature?” – this is the unfortunate reality when you talk about us becoming cynical about life, other people, as we mature. And what I’ve noted is that there can also be a point where some people who are into their 70s or 80s are not cynical but actually have a quiet yet alive twinkle in their eye which flashes their wisdom; a wisdom that says it’s ok to let go and embrace what is life, there is nothing to prove but to enjoy. The hump of acceptance is the magic.
What I remember that gave me the most joy as a kid was feeling the times when we as a family were together without bickering, fighting or arguing and having fun and playing together.
For me, it was playing games by candlelight when the electricity went out. All of a sudden we would be thrown into darkness and the flashlights and candles would come out along with the board games, and we would play until the lights came back on. What I noticed was how instantly as a family we would be more willing to be with each other, whereas when the TV was on everyone was in their own bubble.
‘I have been growing up with my children for the last nine years and they have shared so much ‘magic’ with me and they are part of the reason that I have learned to trust, love and open my heart up to humanity in a deeper way.’ This is so beautiful. I love how you have grown up too with your children and how with them you’ve opened up your heart not just to them but to humanity. This is the magic children can present to us and we can embrace in our lives again.
I absolutely am growing up with them, I have learnt so much about life, from watching them grow, they are so wise, as soon as they are born they feel everything. Being open to this has also enabled me to be much more humble as a parent and really be aware of everyday, humble, simple magic that is around us al the time and in our relationships. I am learning not to take things for granted and appreciating the sparkle in some ones eyes for example. Feeling how beautiful someone is for being them with no trying. I also feel this letting go of cynicism as I grow with them, I use words like, joy, play, loving, innocence and not just relate it to them but myself also, as a 40 something woman that is amazing to feel and claim.
I find a lot of children in towns and cities do not have much exposure to nature, to fields and trees, wild plants and animals. This makes them divorced from the food that they eat, not knowing what a chicken looks like with feathers on or what kind of character it might have and where and how things live and grow and what goes into looking after them. They might have stories read to them but there is nothing like actually being out in nature, on a farm for example and breathing the air and feeling the space – the grandness of the sky and the broad horizons.