Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I don’t know where it came from but there it was – the small, red bud of a tulip popping up from a patch of pachysandra outside the kitchen.

I’ve never planted tulips and in all the years we’ve lived in this house, I’ve never seen one in the yard. I have to assume it’s always been there, but was probably eaten by deer or rabbit or some other critter every year past.

The girls noticed it immediately.

“Mommy! Look! Look!” Peanut exclaimed. “A tulip! Do you think Thumbelina is in there?”

I immediately opened my mouth to say no, of course not. But I caught myself and pulled the negativity back before it could spill out and spoil the spring morning.

“Maybe,” I said instead. “What do you think?”

“Oh yes! Yes! I’m sure of it,” she cried. “I just know it.”

“Thumbelina is in there, Mommy!” added Loaf definitively. “She is in dat tulip.”

I considered this as we drove off to school, not sure really what to think of it all.

Thumbelina? Tulips?

When I was pregnant, friends who were mothers tried to explain to me the unlimited love I would give and receive from my children. Sure, they talked about the frustrations, but also the joys – too many to count. Yes, they mentioned the horrible, gripping fear that would take over sometimes, but also the little moments that would be so full of love.

But no one really talked about the magic that would be reintroduced into my world. The typical stuff of course: A large man in a red suit who comes down the chimney to deliver gifts. Fairies. A giant rabbit delivering candy and hiding eggs. Leprechauns. Unicorns. Witches and wizards.

But there’s much more. Children find magic every single day.

A subway ride is captivating, bringing about sparkling eyes and lasting smiles.

Skyscrapers towering into the sky require stopping on the sidewalk and craning your neck waaaay back to try and see the top.

A drive over a bridge is an utterly fascinating experience.

Tadpoles in a pond are the most awesome things in the world.

A fistful of dandelions presented to you becomes a bouquet of the finest flowers.

A simple summer day becomes a grand vacation.

Tulips hold sleeping girls no bigger than my thumb.

They believe all of these things are equally wondrous. They see them all through a lens unjaded by time and adult cynicism. They are not yet world-weary. It is all new and enchanting.

They believe, simply, that the world is magic.

And when I am with them, so do I.

Outside by our pond



Blogger Lady M said...

Magic! I can totally imagine a tulip housing fairies.

Great pink cowgirl books, by the way.

4:16 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

That is so cool!

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Kim said...

Kim, I loved this post.. I love watching my four year stretch his imagination. It warms my heart that he can dream as big as he wants..

11:44 AM  
Anonymous alejna said...

What a beautiful post. I'm glad that you have found Thumbelina.

(On a completely non-magical but still fairly amusing sidenote, I have heard of squirrels planting bulbs in people's yards. They dig them up for food, and bury them elsewhere for storage, but then often forget where they put them, so they grow in the new location. You could have had a squirrel gardener at work. Or maybe a leprechaun.)

2:57 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

Lady M - the boots are from Tarjay a few years back, but you can still find them on eBay.

Kate & Kim - thanks so much.

Alejna - squirrel gardeners. That totally makes sense. Two summers ago, we had three random sunflowers pop up in the front garden - definitely the work of squirrels. Though I have to admit I like the Leprechaun theory better. :-)

7:25 PM  
Blogger Momisodes said...

Beautifully said. You've captured one of the greatest things about parenthood here. The wonder and amazement is so precious. Sometimes I wish I could bottle it up.

10:34 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

Kids bring us back down to earth and show us what is really important - magic and imagination! Thank heaven for them or we would all be cynical nightmares :)

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, I guess the whole scientific explanation of rodents eating and pooping out bulbs wasn't in the card that day, eh?

5:28 PM  

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