I’m not sure how it started, though I suppose I can blame it on the season. Over the past week Pia has been asking for a magic wand. A real magic wand. A wand that can turn people into toads or cats or whatever. What am I supposed to do with this? I mean, other than the obvious, which is to say that there is no such thing as a magic wand. Lately I feel like I’m saying that about everything. “Are witches real?” No. “Are monsters real?” No. “Are robbers real?” Well, yes, but they don’t live around here. (On the robber note, it turns out lies like that don’t get you anywhere. She followed up by asking where they do live and, fumbling, I said they live in big cities so that they have more people to steal from. So she said, “like where Aunt B lives?”. Um. Yeah. Sorry about that Aunt B. Pia will never again stay at your house.) Anyway, I feel like all I do is tell her things aren’t real. So the magic wand thing came up and after repeated requests I was like, okay, let’s find out how to make a magic wand. I mean, I’ve read Harry Potter, I can roll with this.
It turns out that there are, indeed, instructions on the internet for how to make a real magic wand. This shouldn’t surprise me. But it did make it much, much easier on me and made the whole process much more authentic. The “directions” said to find a stick “whose shape and size attracts your attention”. Good. That was the first stick Pia picked up. Then it said to look on the stick for images of animals, plants, letters, whatever and circle those in paint. Pia identified a patch of lichen and then painted the whole stick red. To add a little pizazz to it we coated the whole thing in glitter glue. Thank god for drying time as it gave me time to think how I was going to make the wand seem magic.
Once the wand was dry we had to “dedicate it” and followed the words on the website. There was something about a drawing a circle around you with your wand and greeting the elements as you faced north, south, east and west. We had to light a candle. It was all very authentic feeling. Pia was delighted.
The very first thing she wanted to do was turn Jim into a frog. We told her that young wizards like herself need to start with simple spells. We suggested popping balloons. Jim would hold a balloon, Pia would say her spell, and POP! went the balloon. Amazing! And it happened again and again and again. The wand really was magic!
The next test was to take it outside to see if she could make leaves fall off the trees. We headed out to the sugar maple in our neighbors yard. Surely it would be cooperative. Pia lifted her magic wand, said her spell and….
… just like that a leaf fell from the tree. And again. And again. Each time she said her spell a leaf fell from the tree. I was amazed and sent many, many silent thank you’s to the tree.