Magic, perception and ice cream!

So, I’m talking with my nieces tonight, as they are spending the night (Emery: Auntie? I don’t like black chicken!—-yes, my culinary skills when it comes to frying chicken is akin to the bacon I lit on fire on vacation a while back!) So we were goofing and talking, because one of my rules is limited movie time, and then talking/playing/reading time. So we were eating ice cream (since Auntie’s diet begins tomorrow!) and discussing deep topics such as whether Elsa or Anna has the prettier dresses, which of my cats is the softest, and what is the best flavor of ice cream. Somehow, this got to the famous old kiddie magic trick of pulling a penny out of one’s ear; a trick I am woefully bad at and can only fool a four year old, because I think that trick needs to be done by someone’s Uncle George to make it seem legit. And I’m not Uncle George.

So the penny trick works on Emery, since she is the more wide-eyed of the two. Maya smelled a rat, of course. So we try the penny trick on her, and then I asked her, well do you want it? I did pull it out of YOUR ear, you know! She said no I didn’t, so I said, ok, if you don’t want it, I guess I’ll just make it disappear; and then proceeded to do so. Then of course, Em yells “I want it!!”, and I had to confess, that the trick is to make it disappear, not come back, and I can’t make it come back because I’m not that good of a magician. But Em….I bet YOU are! So we get it all settled, get Emery a “magic wand” (Sharpie marker!), teach her the “magic words” (yep, “abra cadabra”!) and she swirls and then taps my hand, and WHOA, the penny is back! Yep Em, you’re a much better magician than I am!

Maya: That’s not magic. Oh, such sweet, serious, skeptical eyes! So we got into a discussion of what magic is….and all of the different kinds of magic. And how the most powerful magic in the world is each of us loving and believing in ourselves. If we believe it, we can achieve it, and our only limits are the boundaries of our imagination. Emery asked how a person can be magic? And then, the discussion turned to perception.

I reminded them about how there are two different ways we “see” things (something we had talked about once before); with our eyes and our brains. Our eyes “see” what is out there; our brain “perceives” what is possible with what is out there. So we talked about the power of perception, and how the mind can work such wonderous and powerful things, such as decreasing pain, or giving us fear, or decreasing fear, or helping us to succeed at nearly impossible tasks, or helping us to see answers to questions, or different ways of doing things, that we had never considered before. Emery “got” all this quicker than her sister; I think her very open and optimistic nature makes sense of this kind of thinking, while Maya the analyzer keeps her skepticism.

So I took Maya by the hand and took her to my front door, which was open with the security door on, and told her: “Look out there, and tell me what you see”. Being a very logical and literal four year old, she said “your front yard”. I told her yes, that is perfectly right and she is very smart, and that is what her eyes see; but, “what I see, is the WHOLE WORLD”. Because it is about perception. Taking two steps out my front door opens the whole world of adventure, opportunity, and amazement to us. Because that is what my brain sees. And the limit that your eyes see as the door, or the sidewalk, your brain doesn’t see any limits at all! All of that is out there, waiting for you to find your magic and go after it!

“WOW!!” two little girls say. Lesson learned. Eyes and brains opened. Hearts warm.

Wow indeed 🙂