The door slammed.
What was I going to do? Right before my eyes the worst thing imaginable had happened. My Ex with bags packed in hand, kissed his kids goodbye and walked out the door.
I was instantly sick; in complete and utter disbelief. It felt like my whole world had come cashing down. Yet I felt a strange peace around it as well. It was over. The screaming, the fighting, the constant wondering where he was and if he was coming home. I was devastated for my kids, but I could actually breath again.
The first year was blur. I went from being a stay at home mom for the the 5 years prior, to being faced with the reality that my rent was only paid until the end of the month. That meant I had two choices, pack up and go back to California where we had just moved from 1 month before. Back to where my family was. Or I could get a job and continue to pay rent. I immediately hit the ground searching for anything and everything. Within 1 week I had a job.
Fast forward 1 year.
It was St. Patrick’s day The years prior I had always left a trail of gold coins leading from the girls room down the hall way . We always do some crazy festive breakfast as well. (Green eggs and ham, Green milk and Lucky Charms, just something.) Ever since my Ex left, my life has just been go, go, go. I never really feel like it slows down. And I certainly never feel like I’m on top of it. The truth is I just take it one day at a time. I went from planner, to “just go with it.” And, “OMG, I totally forgot!” Yep, that is my life now.
It was the day before St. Patrick’s day and I was exhausted and on my way home after picking up my girls. My oldest, in the back seat of the car, starts talking about how excited she is that the Leprechaun is coming tomorrow and going to leave them gold coins.
Oh crud I forgot!
As I changed directions and quickly headed to the grocery store I was so mad at myself for having forgot and not planning better. It was almost their bed time and in a perfect world I would have grabbed these on a lunch break while my kids weren’t present. Now I was desperately trying to figure out just how I was going to distract them and hide a bag of chocolate coins so they wouldn’t see them. Despite my efforts my big caught me.
Disappointment filled her face as she put two and two together. Her 5-year-old voice quivered, ” Wait, you’re the Leprechaun? It’s you?”
I fell to my knees right there in the middle of the grocery store. I had failed. I had failed at keeping the secret alive. Tears filled our eyes as I hugged her. I looked her deep in the eyes and told her yes. That it was me but the magic wasn’t in the Leprechaun, the magic was in us. We are the ones who keep the magic alive. I pleaded with God at that moment that she wouldn’t ask me about the Easter Bunny or Santa and that it would just end here. She bravely wiped away her tears and said, “It’s OK mom. The magic is in us.”
A few months later as we were walking hand in hand, my big was taking about how she was bored on our current adventure of running errands. I reminded her that it wasn’t about the errand but about the fact that we got to spend this time together and it was up to us to find a way to enjoy it. She smiled up at me and said, “That’s right. Because we have the magic.”
No matter where you are in you current situation remember that you have the magic, and it’s so important to continue that magic for your kids. The magic isn’t in doing everything perfect or even like you used to. The magic is to make fun in every situation for them. The magic is in how you allow them to see the world.
If there is one thing I have gotten right it is instilling the “magic” into my children. The magic of laughter, the magic of fun, the magic of exploration, the magic of wonder, the magic of the togetherness. The magic.
After awhile their magic will rub off and the world once again will be the beautiful place you once knew it to be. Until then, it is our job to create it for our kids.