Childhood is a magical place... A bit of colored glass can become a secret key into a fantasy world. A stick can morph into a sword to conquer the world, a tyre tube can be an Audi or a towel can become a gorgeous gown. It takes very little to become whatever you want, whenever you want...
As parents, what can we do to make our kids' lives magical? Of course we do all the grunt work to make them flourish. But apart from the occasional treats like making a favorite dish/dessert or giving in to a long-held demands for some toy does not constitute magic, does it?
In our family, we have certain clear-cut areas for helping out the kids. Anything related to school projects, studies etc. usually falls in my half. So does taking care of kids' artistic/creative pursuits. DH, with his busy schedule can hardly be expected to take part in such activities except on rare occasions. But he always takes an interest in all kids' activities and serves as both constructive critic and cheerleader.
Recently DH earned some serious brownie points for himself in the parenting category. He has taken to making up treasure hunts for our fourth grader with chocolates or books to find out at the end! Which of us has not wished to go treasure-hunting at least once?
In the first hunt in December, the clues were just pointers to different spots all over the house. Now he has progressed to tougher clues to get Kunjunni to solve puzzles and riddles in order to find the location of the next clue. Needless to say, I am sometimes roped in by Kunjunni as the wise witch who helps with clues (I keep demanding increasing shares of the booty for each clue I help with! :D).
The latest treasure hunt included a crossword puzzle at the end with cricketing clues. Even I couldn't answer some of them! But I'm sure Kunjunni will remember the answers his father helped him with for a long time. Probably longer than he remembers what the actual treasure was.
It takes real time and love for the activity to make up such a magical experience for the kids. Not to mention remembering the little kid in oneself! Now I am slightly envious, for not having thought up the idea and for not having had a Dad like this!!!
Yes, some times putting the bread and butter on the table is unappreciated. So is all the disciplining that makes well-behaved and caring citizens out of kids. But things like this, I am sure, will stay fresh in kids' memories for ever.
So, have you made some magic in your kids' lives recently?