Thursday, August 16, 2012

I thought about teaching her the “if wishes were horses” rhyme, but worried that she’d start wishing for an actual horse.

At some point I told Adriana about wishing on stars and taught her the rhyme
Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.
She knows about making wishes when she blows on a dandelion, and making wishes when she throws a penny in a fountain. I used to wonder what she would wish for, and I loved it when she got to the age when she would rush to check the mail to see if the mermaids she’d wished for had arrived. Then she picked up the idea that she was supposed to keep her wishes secret, and I was back to wondering.

Earlier this summer I bought her a new scooter, one with two wheels. She’d been coveting them ever since she saw her friend Abigail’s this spring, and I was wanting to hand down her three-wheeled one to Lyra. As soon as it was ready, she spent the afternoon riding up and down our block on it. It was fun to see her so excited about it. That night as I tucked her into bed, she looked out her window for a star to wish on and told me that she was going to have to think of a new wish since her wish for a scooter had come true.

We spent the day at the beach yesterday, and my normal routine is to keep the kids there until after dinner, then change them into pajamas and let them fall asleep on the way home, so I can just throw them into their beds. Last night Adriana was determined to stay up on the way home, and spent the hour in the car gazing out the window at the sky. Mostly she was quiet, but just as we reached the summit on Highway 17 she told me, "Sometimes I like to imagine that stars aren't really balls of burning gas. Because how could a ball of burning gas understand a person's wish and make it come true? It just doesn't make sense. So I like to imagine that stars are actually tiny fairies in very sparkly dresses, and they hear the wishes that people make and use their magic to grant them."

I love that at five, fairies make logical sense to her. When I told Brian about it, he was amused that I had inadvertantly reinforced her belief in magic and wishes by buying that scooter. And I love that she tells me these things. She does seem to have a better sense of what’s real and what’s pretend than many kids her age, so I don’t know how much of it she actually believe, and how much she just likes the idea of the magic. A part of me hopes she really does believe. And I hope that as she outgrows it she still loves the poetry of the idea.