Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The man behind the curtain

Of course we met a magician the other day who is threatening my godlike stature among the flock.

When we first met him Piper thought it was pretty cool, but really just clever tricks. But "daddy does real magic," she said: pushing pennies through tables, making them fly across a room and come out your ear. Alchemy, quantum chicanery, prestidigitorial monkeyshines. Dark and mysterious stuff. Really, being bigger than these little people only gets you so far. You need something to keep their brains sufficiently addled to keep an intellectual upper hand.

Rich (Yes, even magicians have just regular guy names. See kids? Regular guy.) explained to the audience that there are three stages of magical father-awe. 1.) Awe: Wow, my dad can do magic!  2.) Pride: Come here, everyone, my dad can do magic!  3.) Aloof: What are you gawking at? it's only magic.

Picture, while he's telling the audience this, Piper in rapt attention with her mouth slightly agape, sponging it all up. As he finishes point three her eyes glaze over as thought turns inward, not hearing whatever else he's saying. Then with the same introspective, not quite incredulous, expression, her head turns to look at me. Not questioning. Not judging. But reclassifying. There is no resentfulness, nor probably even rational thought leading to a conclusion. There is just learning...no, growing--up, that is. Growing up. Still loves her dad, but the clouds are beginning to lift from the top of Olympus. There's a clearer view of the mountaintop. Some of the mystery is revealed, and, by its revelation, dissolved. Poof!

Curse you, Westcraft, and your super-fatherly magical feats!

Of course being human, we have more duality built into us than actual gods. Part of us seeks to maintain the godhead illusion in order to better and more easily guide these unquestioning souls (and maybe feel a little important). But at some point you know that you want them to eclipse you, become more intelligent, more successful, more wise, more...godlike.

It's uncomfortable, sometimes, these equivocal spots you find yourself in as a parent. But you are not human if your heart doesn't break a little at these moments when you see them grow up. And you are not godlike if you don't hope for these same moments that break your heart.

Still...I don't know...man, I think I need some new tricks.


  1. Oh stop, you are going to make me cry...

  2. But magic is fun, Karen...oh wait, maybe you're crying from laughing.