Why must we dash the wild, beautiful dreams of childhood onto the sharp, craggy rocks of adulthood? Why do they have to learn the "harsh realities" of life? Because the innate evils of the kingdom of man doomed us to lives of toil? Whatever the reason, I protest!
I remember the dreams of youth. I remember the joyous anticipation in living each day. I remember the slow, but steady metamorphosis into a more somber, "responsible" adult. I remember the dashing of dreams and the shock of harsh reality. Sure, I know in many ways I am blessed, and I know that the Lord stands with me and walks with me each day. I know that I give thanks every day for the goodness in the world and for the gifts bestowed upon myself and my family. But all humans suffer some challenge, some loss, some disappointment, some disillusionment.
Amilia BELIEVES with her WHOLE BEING that on Christmas day, her Papa will have a whole ranch house with Cowboys and Indians, her dad will have a cargo ship and a wooded fairy land, and that she and I will have the entire woodland scene and all accessories that she has placed on her list. She believes that SNOW is Magical, and that people are good and kind.
She BELIEVES that the vanilla ice-cream cake that her father and I will create at home for her birthday will be spectacular, and will have all manner of Christmassy wildlife adorning its top. (Her birthday is December 2.) To her, all things are possible, and it is just a given that all things for which she wishes will come her way in time. She believes she will marry her very best friend Daniel, who is "the best and cutest boy in the whole world." No matter that Daniel now lives far away.
My heart breaks in advance when I think of the disappointments that await. Already, Nature Boy is jaded and lacking in childlike hope and wonderment. No matter how I try to ply him with encouraging thoughts, he is resigned to doldrums. I worry for him that he has lost the magic at such a young age. Why can he not suspend disbelief anymore? I remember him so happy on his ride-on fire truck; racing down the walk on his sweet two-wheeled bike; pretending with the neighbor kid, Matt, and the whole G.I. Joe encampment.
Today, I was grumpy. I was irritable and irritated and scowling. I was short with Amilia, and she was a hyper mess. Mr. Nature was having a lovely and quiet afternoon, and when he came home to us, we dragged him down as well. But her upbeat prattle about toys and her ever-present magazine of a wish list remained. I pretended I was somebody else, somebody young and dreamy, like Francie Nolan in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I pretended to be somebody who is always grateful and happy to have whatever they already have. I pretended until I took myself out of the grumpies. I am Blessed, and I am thankful for all of the blessings in my life.
But I still protest. I didn't want to grow up and face harsh realities. I didn't want to lose the absolute BELIEF of youth. But mostly now, I don't want my children to have to face them . I want them to BELIEVE IN THE MAGIC AND WONDERMENT OF LIFE forever. We should all hold it close, BELIEVE, and never let go of the Magic.