It’s my favourite part of the day.
Every night when it’s time to turn out her light, I sit on the end of my nine-year-old daughter’s bed and I hold her hand as we chat in the dark.
Our topics are as varied as the thoughts which bubble through her mind.
“Do you think I’ll ever meet Hugh Jackman?”
“Did you ever get in trouble in class?”
“Will I ever get to see snow?”
“How come we have to do homework?”
“Did you always want to be a writer?”
And last Tuesday night she asked me, “Do you believe in magic?”
Do I believe in magic? I took a moment to think about it.
Yes, I finally said. I do. Life is full of magic. The key, I told her, is to pay attention.
There is magic in the tiniest moments. When you are so desperately missing your best friend and a postcard arrives from her in the letterbox the very day when you’re feeling especially blue. When you go on a beach holiday and your mum forgot to pack your dominos set only to find the exact same set in the games cupboard at the rented beach house. When you hear about a seven-year-old girl in foster care who is dreaming of an Elsa costume, exactly like the one you’ve outgrown that’s hanging in your cupboard. It’s in that first wobbly bike ride without mum hanging on. A discovery of fifty cents on the footpath while you’re walking to school. It’s in custard tarts and summer swims and fairy lights.
Of course magic is not reserved only for the young. It’s in the lives of grown-ups too.