As a rule I don't believe in magic. The universe is a wonderful, unique and amazing thing with possibilities abound, but I'd nearly always look for the scientific answer when presented with 'evidence' of a magical or spiritual miracle. That's not to say I'll not bend the rules with-in my universe or that I look down on people with faith. Thinking about the commitment they make to an idea I can almost feel jealous that they can give themselves to something that they cannot see or properly quantify.
It's brave, not stupid.
So well done to the believers...but for me the closest thing to magic I can get is popping M&M's in my mouth while the kids aren't looking and claiming they just 'vanished' from my hand while trying not to chew. This stereotypical action led to a far more complicated set of lies around our house, lies about Fairies, where Marshmallows come from and the 'parent Tinkerbell hotline.'
Petal bought a pink box, small, unassuming, the kind of thing you place a small gift in. We looked at it together as it sat on the table between us and tried to work out what it was. She looked at me and suggested that it could be 'Magic.' I said I didn't think it was as we'd bought it from a card shop but she was fairly convinced that if she left it somewhere easily seen then something would 'happen'. So she set that sucker down on the work surface before bed and wished it goodnight and flew off to bed.
I found myself looking at this flimsy pink box as I made my tea and wondered what should go in there? Money? Nope, not something I have a lot of at the moment and also cash is cold, it's not 'magic'. So I'm pulling the Whitard's Tea down and there sits the mini marshmallows, so with not a monumental leap of inspiration I took some of those pink and white bad boys and stuffed them in the box, concealed the evidence and headed to bed.
Morning brings a skipping, pink clad cross between Darcey Busell and Stalin, heading towards the box with some interest and excitement. The lid is opened and BAM! Utter joy.
We now have that box and some of the other kids (though not all) have boxes too. They have to have the lids on to seal in the positive vibes so that that magic energy can be transformed into pink and white treats, and on special occasions like Christmas morning Petal particularly looks forward to the extra sweets that arrive.
But how do they get there?
Right, *clears throat* I have to confess I've told them, the kids, that 'the Fairies' come and put the marshmallows there. I've told them we have a phone number to call in case they forget to top the boxes up, that marshmallows grow on trees, that Tinkerbell herself drops the goodies off and that when she's on holiday one of the other Fairies does it.
I know, I know, spreading lies and misguiding the youth. Bad Edd.
The thing is the very little ones really do believe that the fairies come to top them up, that there really is something going on with the boxes that's magical and that if you are really good then more may appear. This sometimes does happen but do you know when I end up filling them more? When we've had a pig of a day, everyone's been bitching and arguing and people are grumpy (including me).
I top the boxes up at this point because when they have gone to bed and the day has soothed away I can see it really is only one day, that all that negativity isn't good for anyone and that what you need when you are finding things tough is not someone saying you can't do shit or have shit because you're naughty, but for someone to take the time to do something nice for you.
I don't use the boxes as weapons, they are just physical symbols of my love that remind me, not them, that giving of my self is what will make an impact in their lives, not taking all the magic away.
The box cost 60p, it's what you do with it afterwards that counts. Get a box and every now and then fill it with love. They will remember this stuff...