This morning I was on my phone, checking emails and Facebook, still in bed because we got a second snow day. Two separate storms came through back to back. Yesterday was snow and then ice.
Today is just snow.
As I was lying in my bed, I came across a post from Gretchen Rubin. She wrote the books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. She was talking about the word, lagniappe. This word was new to me. It means something given as a bonus or extra gift, the extra doughnut in a baker's dozen, the free gift with purchase at the cosmetic counter, or the prize in the Cracker Jack box. Ahhh, that's exactly what a snow day is, a bonus, a gift. Yesterday, not only did we get to sleep in and the kids got a day off from school, but there were no after school activities as well, no basketball and no religious ed. Snow days are a lagniappe. No matter what you do with this new found time, whether it is to cross off a bunch of things on the Christmas to-do list, or sit around and watch movies with your kids, bake cookies, or take a nap, it's all good. It's all stuff that you might not have been able to do on an ordinary day.
Yesterday was a magical Monday. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the word "magic." At this time of year, you hear the word a lot, it just kind of goes with Christmas.
Last Monday was not magical. When I picked up Molly from school that day, my usually smiley, bubbly, happy girl, that bounces into the car and tells me everything that happened at school that day was not the same. Somedays, she talks so much, I think she doesn't even take a breath. But last Monday, she got in the car and just sat in the back seat, sad face, head hanging low, I could tell that something was wrong. She then told me that there were kids at school that were doing a "survey" during recess to see who believes in Santa and who did not, then if you said you were a believer, they processed to tell you why you shouldn't believe. The words Molly used were, "We don't want to ruin your childhood but..."
Molly was broken-hearted, devastated. She came in the house that day, got herself a snack and sat in front of all our Santas and our two Elves wondering and thinking and processing. I gave her some time, and then came in and snuggled and hugged. She did not want to talk about it, even though I asked her several times what she was thinking. She never asked me directly if it was true. I took this that she didn't want to know, that she wanted to hold on to the belief, that she wanted to hold on to the magic.
So we sat and we talked about every Christmas movie that talks about nonbelievers. We talked about The Santa Clause and the line "Seeing isn't believing, believing is seeing." We talked about the Polar Express and hearing the bell, and then I read her the letter "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." I was so sad for her, you see, Molly is one of those kids that makes her own magic and to see her so deflated just hurt my heart.
If you look up the word magic, there are three definitions.
1. A power that allows people to do impossible things by saying special words or performing special actions.
2. Tricks that seem to be impossible and that are done by a performer to entertain people.
3. Special power, influence, or skill.
The word magic is everywhere. Molly just did a report on Walt Disney last month at school. He was the King of Magic. He even built a whole kingdom for magic.
The thing is, people have the magic within them. Some people are born with it at the surface, it bubbles over and they can find something magical in their life every single day. Others have it, but it seems to buried deeper within them. They have to look harder to find it. Just like happiness, I don't think it is something you can pursue, you just have it. There are people in this world that have everything, but still aren't happy. And then there are people that have near nothing and you would think that they have every right not to be happy and yet they are. It's like the end of the Wizard of Oz when Glenda the good witch tells Dorothy that she had the power all along to go home. The magic, the power, is within us.
So last Monday, when my youngest sat in my lap, and didn't ask a direct question about Santa, I could tell she was afraid to ask, she wanted to hold on to the magic. People like Molly, bring out the best in others. She has an energy, a happiness, a magic, that she brings to the things she does and brings it out in others. But every once in a while, the opposite happens and someone steals your magic, or at least you think they do.
Molly found hers again, and yesterday was a magical Monday. Thanks to a lagniappe of a snow day. Shannon and Molly did one craft after another. Snow flakes were made, ornaments were painted, wreaths were made, cookies were baked, and a gingerbread house was built.
The magic is back!
And today, our second snow day, we went to see Santa.
We go to see Santa because we believe.
Fifteen years of Santa pictures and still counting
because we BELIEVE!
And here is number 16...love that they will still get their picture for me...and they do it for Molly.