Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Helena closes her eyes, tight, tight, tight, stretches out her arms, and wiggles her fingers. (Sometimes she uses a magic wand, but one isn't always on hand when you need it.) Slowly, loudly, she intones:

"Par la magie de mes doigts, [chose x] disparru!"

(Actually, "disparrait," would be the grammatically correct way about it, but she says what she says.)

The chant was inspired by her theatre class — they would bring the teacher's puppet to life, later returning it to its enchanted sleep.

Helena knows the power of magic.

The first thing she wanted to disappear was a tea towel. She was "helping" me fold laundry. Quick thinker that I am, with her eyes closed so tight, I swiped it away from in front of her and tucked it under the bed.

A glint in her eye, a gasp, and a smile. She proceeded to disappear the rest of the towels.

It's when she tried to use her skills in the bath — I was precariously perched, the props she chose were fragile or unwieldy, and hiding places were awkward — that it occurred to me I may have unwittingly enabled her to believe that she really had magical powers. Or perhaps it was just a test of my complicity.

She makes me disappear. And Papa. She magics us back into existence in odd places. For some reason, the magic doesn't work very well on the cat.

She asks us to make her disappear. She reminds us we have to close our eyes tight for the magic to work. We here her pitter-patter down the hall. We trace her by her giggles. Her act is complete with "where am I?" and "how did I get here?"

Sometimes she casts a spell with no warning and the magic doesn't take. I suggest she didn't have the right stance or a magical enough tone. Slower and louder gives me more time to work my magic.

Still, there are times I'm caught off guard, not fast enough, and she catches me in the act. I catch a quick scolding (no, mama, let the magic do it) and the glint in her eye: there are things of which we must not speak.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Man could I use that gift. Of course, I'd just use it to make people at work disappear.