I now have magical powers…
Thanks to an amazing 5 yr old boy I spent about 15 minutes with last night. His big sister and our Storyteller had been hanging out and it was time to take her home. She recently moved to another house in town, and Storyteller was eager to take the nickel tour. With Earthbaby tagging along, we crashed into our friends’ home, significiantly multiplying the decibel level.
The girls quickly disappeared, laughing, giggling, yelling, and occasionally shrieking. Meanwhile, this little 5 yr old boy with big blue and very intense eyes walks up to me, flashes a disarming grin, and asks me if I’d like to see his room. He has been SquiggleBug’s best friend for a while now, but without her present, he targeted the only other male in the house: me. He then showed me the wonders of his room. First a Lego tower made with big bricks that channels electricity from inside the earth and shoots out a laser beam into the sky. It also shoots lasers from the sides of the tower, and if it hits your home, it makes a window. He’s pointing to a Lincoln Logs home on the floor near the tower.
“A window?” I say, thinking that what he really meant was smashing a hole into the house, because I assume that all boys want to smash things. Shame on me, by the way.
“Yes, a window. It shoots a laser and if it hits your house, it makes a window.”
“That’s wonderful! I would love for a laser like that to hit my house. It’s pretty dark, and it would be great to have some extra windows!”
His smile doubled in size, and his enthusiasm too, and next we’re looking at his space helmet that he picked up at a yard sale, a knight costume and a special wooden sword. I say: “It might be fun to wear the knight costume with the space helmet! You could be a knight from outer space!”
“Yeah, but I think it would look better with the cape and knight helmet.”
“Ok!” I respect any kid willing to stand their creative ground. And he did it so well, without knocking my idea. He just stated his own opinion, without judgment. There is much we can learn from 5 yr olds…
I make a mental note to mention to SquiggleBug that his bed is the same size as hers; she’s been asking for a bigger bed for a while now.
He stares at my beard. I wait a beat, to see what he’ll do, and he just keeps staring, smiling. “What?” I ask.
“Your beard!” He’s almost laughing. I remind myself that he’s 5 and is probably not trying to make fun of me and hurt my feelings. So I ask: “What about it? What’s the matter with my beard?”
“It is?” Now I’m feeling insecure, as we’ve known each other for a few years, and I am aware that I have a few new white hairs that have crept into my longer-than-expected goatee.
“Yes! I used magic and it’s shining.”
“Really?” Genuine surprise here.
“Yes. It’s brown and shining.”
“How cool!” Bam! This kid is showing me how insecure I am, and has no idea what he’s teaching me about how I relate with people.
“Wait. You can do magic?” I ask.
“Yes!” Excited, but matter-of-fact about it too.
“Cool! I wish I could do magic”
“Well, I could make a fireball, and then give it to you and then you could have magic too.”
“I would love that!”
So he puts his hands together, and then takes one hand away from the other and shows me. “I made a fireball!”
“That’s amazing! What do I need to do?”
“Open your hand” he instructs me.
I follow his instruction, but I’m doing it wrong, so he grabs my hand and corrects how I’ve positioned it. “There. Like that.” And then he makes a forward motion with his other hand toward me, and simply says “Now you have magic.”
“Wow. Thank you. I’ve never had magic before. I’m probably going to have to practice to get good at it.”
“You could make magic fire!”
“Really? Is that dangerous?” checking myself from assuming that it would be dangerous, because he’s a boy and well, you know the rest.
“No! And you can put it out with magic water.”
“That’s amazing. Thank you so much for giving me magic.”
And that’s how I got magical powers.
Five is by far one of my favorite ages.