On ‘Magical Rings’
I was reminiscing on our veranda last weekend about when our daughters were in their youth and still living at home. Some notes I had written back then were stuffed in a memories box by Mary, my spouse, and they surfaced during end-of-summer cleaning. These moments in time are shared as they were written, in the present tense.
“The bedtime hour at our house is, I’m sure, not unlike many other households in America, with parents and their children going through the rituals of preparing for sleep. This may include changing into nighttime garb, brushing teeth, washing faces and telling a ‘good night’ bedtime story.
“At our house, the story is a never ending saga of Mavis the flying elephant, and our heroes, not coincidentally, happen to be us. The two major participants of our three girls currently are Annie (age 10) and Katelyn (age 7) because Margaret our new teenager has moved on to other interests (though it should be noted that Maggie actively participated in the past).
“The story always includes our ability to use a number of ‘magical rings’ the children have collected over the years. Each ring has a made-up power, generally imagined just in time to confront the most immediate problem that evolves from our story If goblins are after us – we use the ‘ring of speed,’ which quickly transports us out of harms way. If we’re looking for the evil wizard – we use the ‘ring of seeing,’ which are hunting us – we use the ‘ring of invisibility,’ which keeps us hidden from view, or the ‘ring of COMPLETE invisibility,’ which keeps our scents and breathing hidden as well.
“Each story always ends with wonderful and creative resolutions to the adventures we shared and a quiet party among us complete with imaginary cake and ice cream. As they would drift off to sleep each night we would end with our versions of three original songs we all knew and loved, the last one always being ‘The Man In
Today, our daughters have all completed their degrees, married gentle-hearted boys, and moved away to live their own hopefully happily everafters. And while they moved away without any “magical rings” as Deus Ex Machinas to drop out of the sky and immediately solve the problems that arise in life, they do have “magical mindsets” to address them in the real world.
Patrick J. Wood
Author of “Dear Reader” and “Tapestry of Love and Loss”