Yesterday my six year old yanked out a tooth that had been hanging on forever. She couldn't wait another day for it to come out on its own. She was too excited about putting it under her pillow for the Tooth Fairy, which surprised me a little. She still buys in to magic and fantasy but, fitting with her little future-engineer personality, is fully aware of the reality behind it all. At Disney this weekend, for example, she was jumping up and down with excitement when we lined up to meet Mickey and Minnie. But she admitted, in a very nonchalant way, that she knew it was just a costume with a person inside. It didn't dampen her enthusiasm but she knew. It's only a matter of time before she abandons the Tooth Fairy and Santa and all those other things that twinkle in the night.
Anyway, this morning she woke up and the Tooth Fairy hadn't come. Oops. She was upset but it was only 6 am so we sent her back to bed to wait it out then tiptoed in and slipped a dollar under her pillow. Crisis averted. For now.
These days are a fly-by, a wave from the window of a passing train. Blink and you'll miss them. Everyone says it because it is true. Only I don't miss them when they are gone, really I don't. I'm not sad about it. I loved having drooly, squishy little babies but that chapter is over and I'm truly, truly fine. Each new phase is as exciting as the last and the freedom that comes along with having "older" children is something I relish and am grateful for. I like being able to take her places and show her things that she will actually understand and remember.
But I do wish we didn't have to hit reality so suddenly and so hard. I wish the magic lasted just a little bit longer.
Maybe, for her, it will. Maybe she will still be dreaming of snowy Christmas mornings and elvish enchantments when she is grown up. Maybe she'll find practical daydreams and get a little flutter in her chest when the curtains part for the opening number of The Nutcracker. Maybe she will always buy in.
The world is so full of wonder and beauty. If I had one wish for my sensible, serious, smart little girl, it would be that. I hope it never gets old. I hope she never stops jumping up and down. I hope she always allows herself the luxury of a little magic.
Photo above, taken by me, of the seagulls that flew alongside the boat as we steamed our way into Walt Disney World. They weren't animatronic but they didn't poop on us so it's all good.