I’ve been married to my wonderful DH since 1997. He’s a high school Math and Physics teacher and I’m a web designer/content manager/IT project coordinator. We have three beautiful children. Because I respect their privacy, I won’t be referring to them by name on the blog. So, Sprout is the oldest daughter at 10, almost 11, Elfkin is my middle daughter. She’s 7 and Goober is my insanely active 3 year-old son. We live in Toronto after having moved her from Kapuskasing Ontario, via Oshawa in 2008. We’re a pretty normal household, we have our ups and downs the same as anyone else. Right now we’re a little more down than usual, but hopefully things will pick up soon and we’ll be back on our feet.
At any rate, like I said, I think in terms of family dynamics we’re pretty normal. We struggle with the usual stuff; are we being too protective, are our kids too materialistic, are we overloading them, etc…
One of the things I find it hard to cope with is letting these little monkeys grow up. I loved my babies, I loved my toddlers, and now I have one daughter on the cusp of womanhood, and one who is just learning that everything in the world is not as it seems. How the heck did that happen?
At any rate, I want my kids to stay kids for as long as possible, and I would say I’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that my kids view of a magical world stays with for a good long time. I’ve had friends who do calligraphy write letters from Santa and the Tooth Fairy, I diligently put cookies, carrots and milk out for Santa every Christmas and leave baskets of goodies at their bedroom doors, surrounded by glitter from the Easter Bunny. All so my kids can wake up in the morning and believe that the world is a rare and marvelous place.
It’s resulted in some arguments in the school yard. Sprout especially would become quite indignant when anyone questioned the validity of Santa Claus’ existence. Each time we were careful to turn the conversation over to what she believed and why and that her faith in her convictions were what was important, not proving the other person wrong. The cat finally ripped its way out of the bag when my mother in law showed her the card with all of my DH’s baby teeth carefully glued to it with the date each one was lost.
Poof! There went the wonder and magic of belief.
Elfkin’s didn’t last much longer, having figured it out this past Christmas. Happily the girls are alright with the idea that the spirit of each of these mythological characters lives in their parents. They’re also taking some delight in the realization that it now lives in them as well, because they have to put on a good show for their baby brother.
But it’s alright. It was time, and I’ve made my peace with it.
But I got hit with that bittersweet yearning for more innocent eyes in my children yet again last weekend.
We were watching Chased by Dinosaurs, a BBC nature series in the same vein as Planet Earth. The show centers around it’s host, Nigel, a Steve Irwin wannabe who ‘time travels’ back to prehistoric age to film and interact with dinosaurs. Think The Crocodile Hunter meets The Land of the Lost. It’s quite fun, the CGI and props are quite good. In fact they’re a little too convincing.
Poor Elfkin really thought Nigel was going back in time to swim with sea monsters. The look on her face was heart wrenching when we told her that this wasn’t real. It was all done with computers. She looked so betrayed.
Thankfully, a few minutes later she started quizzing me on how they did the effects, and as I started explaining about building maquettes, and digitizing them and finally animating them that look of wonder came back to her eyes.
“Could I do that when I grow up, Mommy?”
The look of wonder that I treasure was back, not quite as innocent, but full of promise all the same. I think I can live with that.