When I was twelve years old, I bought a treasure chest at a garage sale. It was actually an old jewelry box, but it looks exactly like a tiny treasure chest. To my twelve year old self it was quite possibly the coolest thing in the world and I used it to hold my coin collection. Fast forward twenty some years to the present day and I still have said treasure chest as well as three young sons. They also think that the treasure chest is the coolest thing in the world.
My oldest son was the first to see the treasure chest, which I keep hidden in the top part of my closet. He was nervous about his first day of kindergarten so I pulled him into my room, retrieved the treasure chest and let him pick a “magic” coin from within. I didn’t announce it to his brothers, it was a moment between just me and him. He pocketed the coin, stood up straight with his shoulders back and then went to school the next day a little more brave than the day before.
My middle son received his “magic” coin after a particularly challenging day at daycare when he felt like none of the kids liked him. Same thing, I pulled him secretly into my room and let him pick a coin from the treasure chest.
Tonight, randomly my two older boys each found their magic coins and started playing with them in front of their younger brother. I really didn’t think much of it until it was their bed time and my youngest son asked me if he could have a big coin too. It was then that I realized that I had accidently established a rite of passage for my sons.
The magic coin.
So I took him into my room and pulled the treasure chest down from it’s usual spot in the top of my closet. “Pick a coin” I said, “and this coin will give you luck and protect you for the rest of your life.” He spent at least five minutes making his decision. When he did though, his conviction was solid.
He is now sleeping soundly with the magic coin clutched firmly in the palm of his hand.
We must do a lot for our children but I think perhaps there is no greater gift to bestow upon them than the belief in magic; the promise of something wonderful. That’s how I felt twenty some years ago when I first bought that old jewelry box and I’m happy that I’m able to pass the feeling down to my own sons. Magic is out there, we just have to believe.