Tuesday, April 24, 2012

There is no magic

When Sarah was about four years old, I asked her what she wanted for Christmas. She gave me her standard answer – she wanted a horse. Reading my face (blank look = no horse) she added “and a real magic wand”.   Well, I figured she would have yet another disappointing holiday, but I found a totally cool magic wand that I thought she would love.   It was pink and silver plastic and used batteries to make the star on the end flash multicolored lights. When you moved the wand, the lights in the star lit up and the wand made an electronic musical sound, sort of like *zing*. OK, to an adult, that’s about as magical as it gets in this world.
So, Christmas morning came and Sarah opened her gifts.   She opened the box that had the wand. At first sight, she was thrilled.   As soon as she discovered its powers (light and sound), she jumped to her feet, took a defiant stance, and waved the wand authoritatively.   She stood there a moment and then glared at me. “This is not a real magic wand!” she declared disdainfully. “This is just a toy!” I nodded my head in agreement, and told her there are no such things as real magic wands. She argued, “Magic is real. Why can’t there be magic wands?” I told her I didn’t believe in magic, but sometimes it seems like things happen by magic when no other explanation makes sense.   I didn’t want to totally disillusion (disenchant?) the poor girl; her Christmas was already a disappointment.
I wish magic was real because wouldn’t it be nice to have power to control what happens in the world?   The down side is that there would always be evil people using magic for evil.  When I was little, I thought if I wished for something hard enough, it could come true.  Sarah - if you're reading this and you've found a real magic wand, let me know.  I have a list.... 

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