So there was a day of Netflix watching…yes, an entire day. Because this is what is required to complete blog posts on some days. And when you can no longer watch even one more episode of Garfield, your mind finally returns to imagination.

It all started with Lyra deciding she should have a picnic in the old red wardrobe that is falling apart. The bottom row usually holds towels but every last one is in the laundry, which incidentally has grown into a small mountain. An empty space is an invitation for picnics and eventually magic.

When she was eventually done picnic-ing and lounging, someone found an old hand-me-down gifted wand and figured out it was indeed a magic wardrobe…and the game began. Someone climbed in, a dramatic wave of the wand and the person climbed out  something completely different… it was usually a cat or a frog, but each time it grew more exciting.

I found myself kind of wishing I could climb into the magic wardrobe and come out changed…and there are things and experiences that change us, like magic, quickly- some that harm us that we have to work hard to undo, and others that change or rearrange our souls in profound ways for the better.

…and there are some magic wardrobes that we have to climb into over and over again to try change on until it sticks or to get comfortable with the idea of something that is completely different than what we know or who we are.

…and there are some magic wardrobes that we have to climb into to dream the impossible or to keep our dreams close. I think these might be the best wardrobe moments, because you never know when the magic may actually happen or that the dream is being held when we can’t seem to hold on…or it’s just too big/scary.

…and sometimes the magic in the wardrobe is love, hope or kindness…or truth- the gentle and hard kind, vulnerability or courage.

All of it is important for change to come, or for it to find us, or for us to embrace what is already there.

If you could lounge in the magic wardrobe today, what would you be when you came out? or what would the wardrobe hold for you? who do you wish could climb into the wardrobe with you?

Feel free to use the comments as the giant wardrobe today.

 

…and don’t you kinda wish you were reading The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe right now? and actually, it’s a red armoire, but wardrobe sounds dreamier. 

 

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change the world…

March 22, 2012

I found this awhile back along with 1,000 other videos Lucy made of herself on our old flip video…not sure I agree with the grumpy apart, the rest is golden.

“I don’t do this anymore, it just isn’t part of my life…it used to be though.” I said to my dear friend Christa as we sat and watched our kids play on the beach.

“What? sit? or just be?” she replied.

“Both.” I answered.

It was an impromptu trip, an idea you say out of loud to a friend but not really expecting it to happen. You know, the “You know what we should do? we should…” …but this time I just said yes. So we booked a cabin in a Virginia Beach camp ground for a couple nights. I didn’t really have money, time or energy but all of those things are short these days and some times you just have to call it in. Since money was tight, my friend did what any good girlfriend does, she slipped me a $20 and her dear husband Cris went out and hooked us up with a mad amount of groceries…then he sent a lasagna. And with way too many bags (plus some christmas lights)

and even more children, we were on our way.

We arrived and within minutes someone named the cabin, and it turned out to be a very fitting name- The Magic Cabin. I slipped a sign on the door, one invitation of kindness and the magic began. We didn’t really have a lot planned, a little, but not a lot. I was just too tired to do all that making memories stuff, but I am starting to think the best stuff just happens on its own anyway.

It started with a failed and messy Pinterest craft…but no one seemed to care.

and a sweet dinner…with the question answered- “What one thing do you want to do before you grow up?”

then there was nature woodsy stuff…

and vacation surprises and candy…

and beach treasures and kite goodness…

…and there were visits from a kind Granny, and kid conflict, and frolicking, and eating way too many clementines, and chai tea with homemade maple syrup whipped cream, and scary bugs, and laughing so hard your side hurts, and snoring, and exhaustion from packing and unpacking and packing again…and epiphanies about your parenting.

The kind that was so gentle, and unfolded just so, so you could see it on your own, without judgement and surrounded in so much love. I could see just how much my kids need me in an intentional way to hold experiences of kindness for them, and just them at times. For so long I have secretly feared my kids will grow up and feel like they didn’t get enough while I shared and invited kindness for the whole world…and I realized how open they are and how little it takes, and how over the last few years, little by little, I have lost bits and moments of family kindness.

And it was so sweet to just be, to be in the place where it all started, and to be in the only place that matters…and to know you can always call it back and decide to be a new way…and to be a little sad for how you lost your path and yet so hopeful and happy to know what you can do to find it again.

So the last night, we decided to give the kids a blessingway. (a blessingway is a ceremony rooted in Navajo culture and history as a way to “bless the way” of someone walking into a new part of life. Women often give them to pregnant women about to have a baby.) After about the million I have been to over the years, it never occurred to me to have one with my kids.

So we made a fire and gathered a circle with candles and decorated with the left over defunct Pinterest art that Josiah made into a nest. It was perfect. We called the kids in one by one, and whispered by name, “We are glad you are here ______.”

They sat with wide eyes as Christa explained what a blessingway was and the history behind it…and how we wanted to bless them as part of our families together. Over the weekend, the kids had been learning about animal totems and trying to figure out which animal best represented them and their spirit. Some kids knew and others weren’t sure. So we gathered some items from nature to represent the animal we chose for them. We presented the items and told each child the things we saw in them and the blessings they hold.

Josiah was a deer, Roman a buck,  Lucy was a bird, Jack was a wolf…and I watched as they soaked it all in. And one we were totally wrong about and have to still figure out. It was almost as if the little guy knew himself, knowing who and what he is so clearly…but we didn’t have the match right. It was a lesson in the value of struggle and finding your way to your kids, to listening and honoring each other in the process. It was the beauty of the kid bs meter, and that it’s worth it to be real and true, whatever that looks like. (and that s’mores can right almost any parent screw up)

It was finally Lyra’s turn and Christa started her blessing. She explained how Lyra was playful and engaging like a dolphin…inviting connection and love. And I watched as Lyra nodded her head in total agreement, while she whispered “yes” as she sat in my lap and listened to Christa’s wise words. Her eyes sparkled, it was as if someone just saw all of her for the first time. I was shocked by her response and how deeply she felt the connection, even at the age of three. It was a true soul experience, for all of us. She hugged and thanked me 3 times after we were done, and asked if we could turn her dolphin shell into a necklace. I don’t think it has left her neck yet.

I walked away once again amazed by how capable kids are, in their minds, in their hearts, in their souls- the magic they are..and how much they hold and have to offer…and amazed how magic comes in so many forms, the magic of not knowing, the magic of struggle, the magic of being discovered and blessed and mostly, the magic of just being.

you can see the rest of the pictures from our adventure here.