There are just some moments as a parent when you have absolutely no idea what to do. You just stare at your kid, mouth gaping, thinking, “Who the heck thought I was prepared to handle this?” This week that moment happened exactly 2.4 seconds after Chica figured out her pebble wasn’t actually magic.
So let’s back up about 10 steps…
At some point during the beginning of the week, we began hearing about a magic pebble that Chica was making and/or pretending in her class. At four there is such a confusing blur between reality and pretend, so I’ve learned not to ask too many of those kinds of questions. Just go with it.
Much of our conversation driving home that day centered around brainstorming our best ideas for wishes when she had the magic pebble ready. She didn’t have to think too hard to determine her top two choices: #1 For it to automatically be her birthday. #2 For a real Rainbow Dash. I’ve never actually watched an episode of My Little Ponies, but I’ve heard her talk about it enough to know that this must be the main character. When she asked me what my wish with the magic pebble would be, I hesitated for a moment. Before I could get out an answer, she offered, “I know, Mom. You’d wish to get all your work done.” Exactly, Chica. Exactly.
We didn’t hear anything else about the magic pebble until dinner later. Unprompted, she begins a captivating retelling of the book her class has read, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. I know I am biased, but she is truly a good storyteller! I’m sure I have read or heard this story multiple times….actually, I think I may have even acted it out before….but she had me on the edge of my seat as Mr. and Mrs. Donkey finished their picnic on Sylvester the Rock. Jay, Bubba, and I all cheered when Sylvester had the surprise reunion with his parents.
Well yesterday Chica came prancing up to my classroom after school just dying to show me her magic pebble. It was about the size of a peanut shell and coated in a healthy layer of gold and red glitter. As if any clarification was needed, the Ziplock bag that held it was definitively labeled with her name and “Magic Pebble.”
She let me touch it, showed it off to a few of my students that were waiting for the bus, and then got busy with her wishing. I got busy with e-mails or planning or whatever it is that I do every day after school, and I forgot all about the magic pebble. Until…
Until she came back to me, still clutching the pebble that now had a few glitterless spots showing through. “It doesn’t work,” she choked out before bursting into tears…big, fast tears. “I wished (sob) for Rainbow Dash (sob), and the magic pebble (sob) didn’t work (sob).”
So that’s the moment. The moment where I have no idea. I can’t very well say, “Oh, Chica, your teacher was just playing with you….you know it’s not really a magic pebble.” That’s the magical thing about being four…you still believe every-last-thing your teacher tells you. No need to rush out of that. So my next thought is to tell her to keep on wishin’, but I quickly realize that I’m only setting myself up for even louder sobs and faster tears later. So I do the only thing a deer-in-the-headlights momma knows to do…hold her, let her cry, and keep thinking.
That’s when I thought of Bridge to Terabithia. I wish I could say I have read the book, but I’ll admit I’ve just seen the movie. Which was great, by the way….only movie during which I’ve stayed awake until the end in a loooong time. Anyway, I told her about that movie and how the kids in it pretended they had this whole other world to visit. After awhile, they got so good at pretending, that it actually seemed real. “So why don’t you pretend that your wishes came true, and after a while, maybe it will seem real.”
Yeah, so, that’s good in movies and all, but it didn’t work for Chica the Puddle. I totally thought she would buy it. So wrong.
So after a few more tears, she just got mad, decided to put it back in its Ziplock bag, hide it somewhere where she didn’t have to look at it, and move on to Wild Kratts (yeah, I don’t get this show yet, either). I let out a sigh of relief, got back to e-mails, and forgot about it too. Phew.
Today as I cleaned up my computer counter, I snagged the pebble and stashed it in my lunchbox. I’m not quite sure what to do with it yet, but you can bet it’s not going to appear for her to find anytime soon.
I guess maybe I should hold on to it just in case I ever find myself transformed into a rock trying to get away from a lion. You never know.