Like a child in play
Like stepping into magic
Like unfolding life
In every breath
For The Daily Post
Like a child in play
Like stepping into magic
Like unfolding life
In every breath
For The Daily Post
Find a moment of magic
where the air
meets the sky;
where the light
holds back darkness
and the sun
twirls a ribbon
to the frost
Find a moment of magic;
breathe a lungful
Brace your heart
with warm knowing:
There will be light on
There is gold
in the air
There are showers
on cool weather,
building paths of
There is magic
to tread through,
end of season,
mixed with dazzling hues
of the richness of nature
And that, as we know, is a lovely whole lot!
Here is the story from Vancouver:
A letter from a B.C. principal to the Tooth Fairy on behalf of an eight-year-old girl has gone viral after it was posted on the school’s Facebook page.
Avery Patchett is in Grade 3 at James Hill Elementary School in Langley and last week she lost her third tooth during class. Her teacher gave her a necklace to help her keep the tooth safe, but when she went outside at recess to play she tripped and fell, knocking the tooth into the dirt.
“When I tripped and lost it, I lost it forever,” she said. “I looked a couple of times and I still haven’t found it because the tooth looks like rocks.”
That is when her principal, Chris Wejr, stepped in to help.
Avery came to him crying about what had happened. “She was upset because she had lost her lost tooth and she was worried the Tooth Fairy wasn’t going to come,” said Wejr.
“I said ‘well, I’ve sent a letter to the Tooth Fairy before and it worked’ and I said ‘what do you think about us sitting down and writing up a formal letter with our logo on it and everything and giving that to the tooth fairy?’”
So they wrote a letter together and Avery took it home to give to the Tooth Fairy.
“She gave me five dollars,” she said.
Wejr had previously helped a student at his former school through a similar experience and said it is important to help kids in this way and to share these stories. When he posted the letter on the school’s Facebook page, it immediately generated a huge response.
“It shows that people want to hear the positives,” he said. “There’s so many incredible caring moments that happen in schools every day and they don’t get shared, so we try to share the positive moments that happen at school once in a while.”
Avery’s mom Debbie said she did not expect this at all from her child’s principal. “I just thought, ‘wow, it’s a really nice gesture’,” she said.
“He took something really small and made this a memory for her that will last forever, and it is a small gesture, but it means everything,” she added. “We hear so many horrible stories every day, it’s nice to hear this story, this small little story, this little gesture.”
Wejr said the lesson here is that sometimes adults need to stop and make sure they show kids they care and help them in moments of distress.
“Sometimes the small things can really have a large impact if we just take the time,” he said.
© Shaw Media, 2014
The little boy loves chocolate. He adores candy, cookies, florescent sour sticks. His idea of a balanced meal is french fries and ketchup with some chicken fingers on the side. He cringes at anything that grows on trees and runs away from any shorter plant life, especially those grown on farms with salads in mind.
He thinks brownies are a food group and can name all the junk food in the aisle of a mega-mart. He’s a keen critic of the varieties of cheese doodles, pasta shapes (no sauce), donuts, and icing from a can.
He perfected pouts and frowns to span the whole range of disgust, denial, and gradients of ‘no-way-Jose’ with which to respond to any and all attempts at offering healthy nutrition. You can dress vegetables however you like, try to hide fruit in a smoothie or an ice pop, claim that dried fruit are “as sweet as candy”–he sees right through the sneakiest disguise. The only way a vitamin will pass his lips is in a gummy.
His world revolves around sweets, snacks, and superheros.
Of the latter, he owns every size, shape, and denomination; in clothes, sheets, watches, slap-on-bracelets, stickers, backpack, cup, cap, hat, and mittens. He is genially inclusive of all superheros, identifiable by characteristic puffy chests, disproportionate arms, odd skin color (tending toward green), and various kinds of billowing plastic capes and armament. There are of course the Spiderman, Batman, and Superman, Green Lantern man, and Darth Vader, but also many others that adults keep confusing and, more’s the pity, cannot even name …
The boy lives, breathes, sleeps, plays, narrates, and animates his superheros. He is rarely found without one–they are constant companions–at home, in the car, in the tub. He takes one with him to the toilet, for some friendly company and conversation.
He keeps a place at the table for his superheros. He lugs a carry-on packed with them onto the plane. He delights in having them, ecstatically anticipates upcoming birthdays and holidays as opportunities for enlarging his beloved collection.
Some may think his ‘fixation’ willful or limiting. They may frown upon his adulation of plastic figurines with overstuffed musculature and unrealistic proportions and stereotype. Others see him walk along the street in full superhero regalia, grinning, prancing, proud as rain … and they cannot hold back a smile. He is absorbed, enchanted and enchanting. At almost-four, he bobs easily in and out of the bubble of delight in mystery and magic-thinking.
His parents tolerate sheets and towels becoming capes, draping furniture, and sweeping fragile items off of shelves and coffee tables. They have learned to live with constant sound effects as Spiderman climbs walls and Superman flies atop buildings and other superhero this-or-that saves all manner of fallen toy-victims. His parents accept that going anyplace takes longer when there’s a world to rescue with each move, a hero to swoop wide from every stair, a never ending battle between good and bad to wage and master.
Speaking of battles … there is the matter of his aversion to tooth brushing. Sugary and colored yellow with sticky cheese powder, he refuses to allow any mention of teeth cleaning. He clenches jaws against attempts at probing. He flees, superheros in each hand, at the sight of toothpaste or mouthwash.
Oh, he has some valid reason to–medical professionals have spliced his little mouth all too many times in efforts to reshape what a birth defect distorted. They came from care, but his experience left him wary and refusing further vulnerability. He controls access to his mouth with iron will that puts maximum security detention centers to shame.
His parents despair — they loathe to force him when so much was forced already and yet they know that to neglect his mouth is to invite issues in the future and invasive dental work besides. They admit helpless caving in to his refusal. Embarrassed, they are torn between their worry for his pain and the need to work beyond it.
So we had a hubbub, he and I, and we’ve come to an agreement. An understanding. A plan of action. Superheros brush teeth, too, you see. They floss regularly with gusto. They gargle mightily. They epitomize mouth-care and a fighting spirit against germs a-hiding. The proof is seen in any superhero movie, cartoon, or poster; where one is certain to be dazzled by the light reflecting from their pearly white perfection ….
Now, superheros line the sink, the toothbrush is adorned with muscled plastic. Towel cape on shoulders, feet in puffy superhero slippers, he seeks to destroy all hidey-holey bugs that wish to burrow cavities.
Superheros brush teeth, too. Whew. Next, they will be eating vegetables…
“Is the tooth-fairy real?”
The six-year-old shows me a new hole in her mouth. First wobbly baby tooth fell out over the past week, welcoming this Kindergartener to a new world, as well as placing her face to face with the frail veil between reality and fantasy, logic and magic.
“What do you think?” (again, my standard reply: she must have some hypothesis about this if she’s asking. I’m more interested in knowing what she’s thinking than telling her about mine)
Frown. Pause. A searching look–am I doing the ‘adult avoidance of answers dance’ or am I really interested? She decides I’m worth the effort.
“I think she’s not real,” the little girl curls one side of her mouth with the bitterness of the words.
“Wow, really? Why??” The surprise in my voice is real enough, even if the extra oomph to it is intentional as a way to mirror the depth of the child’s emotion about this.
“Because it is really not her. It is mommies and daddies. The tooth-fairy is just pretend. I saw my mommy put the dollar under my pillow,” she is trying to sound very matter of fact about it, but she is disappointed. Crushed, more like. A little miffed, too, for the charades, and for having noticed it. Certain kinds of knowing exact a high price.
“Oh, well, maybe the tooth-fairy just needed their help,” I note. Sometimes such announcements about magic-loss are actually challenges, fragile requests for help in restoring the possibility of wonder, Santa-Clause, and fairies.
Eyebrows raised–am I trying to trick her?–but there’s also a smallish rounding of wonder in her eyes. She’s curious now. Hopeful. “What do you mean?”
“Well, I’m thinking, all those children losing teeth. I bet sometimes there are just too many in one night for the tooth-fairy to get to, so maybe she asks the parents to help.”
“Oh.” A moment of silent thinking. She’s letting this in, perched on the fence between accepting what she wants to believe, and what would put doubts to rest but also put out magic.
I wait. There’s no rushing works of hearts.
“So …” she pipes up, “Maybe my mommy helped because there’s only one tooth-fairy and she was too busy?”
“YEAH!” her face transforms. It is lit now. “Because the tooth-fairy, she only has little wings, and maybe she had to be very far, like in California … so she couldn’t have time to come everywhere at night!” Pause. Smile. Wonder in her eyes. “You think maybe next time … when my other tooth falls, see? (she demonstrates a minor-wiggle in the other top incisor), you think the tooth-fairy will maybe be in New York?”
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Steve's body of work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike - yet always retains the human element. www.stevemccurry.com
Speech Language Pathologist for Adults and Children, Manhattan, New York
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