Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spiritual Parenting: Magic in the Ordinary



St. Patrick's Day always reminds me to bring a little more magic to the ordinary. 

Children are so open, ready and willing to believe in the invisible. They have unwavering faith that magic exists and find joy in looking for fairies in the flowers and leprechauns in the clovers. The young know, without a doubt, that gold is waiting at the end of the rainbow. Do you have that much faith in things you can't see? Do you believe with all your heart that your prayers are answered and God hears your call?

When my older daughter was small, she experienced anxiety at bedtime. While tucking her in, I created a magic bubble and in it I sprinkled all sorts of good thoughts: cotton candy, tree houses, butterflies, cuddly kittens, play dates and cupcakes. She would fall asleep feeling snuggled in all the goodness life has to offer. And, on St. Patrick's Day morning she, and years later her sisters, woke up to green toilet bowls and emerald milk, a sure sign of the leprechaun's visit. Some years, we created traps for those tricky leprechauns. We spent time painting rocks gold and hiding them under a tricky trap. We never caught one, but she never stopped trying. Now as a teen, she easily manifests her dreams and quickly demonstrates her prayers. She continues to believe with child-like faith.

Mimi Doe, author of 10 Principles for Spiritual Parenting, lists "Add Magic to the Ordinary" as Principle Number 6. She says:

We can "catch" some of the magic from our children and reignite our own souls. Parenting becomes a magical journey when we allow enchantment to infuse us. Use whatever fills your heart with harmony, for it's hard to "make" magic for others when we don't experience it ourselves.

How could you add enchantment to St. Patrick's Day weekend for yourself and your children? Here are some ideas:


  • Gather rocks, shells, doll furniture or recycled materials and create a fairy garden in the back yard or a planter. Read The Borrowers by Mary Norton for inspiration.
  • Put chairs upside down, add green food coloring to the milk and toilet water, or move furniture around the night before St. Patrick's Day. When the kids wake up, blame the mischief on leprechauns.
  • Stop at McDonald's for a green Shamrock Shake and don't forget to buy one for yourself.
  • Create an all green dinner menu with your kids...maybe even green eggs and ham.
  • Buy potted shamrocks from the nursery and look for leprechauns hiding among the leaves or search for the magical four-leaf clover.
  • Paint rocks gold and hide them around the yard for a gold hunt. Let the kids trade their gold in for a treat or money for their piggy banks.
  • Read Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig with your kids. You can find it at the library. Then, go to the beach to look for your own magic pebble. Create a story with your kids about all the things your magic pebble can do and then find a special place to keep it.

Let your imagination guide you. I guarantee years from now your children will look back on St. Patrick's Day and remember the magic. And, by keeping magic alive, you will nurture the whole family's faith and joy.