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A LITTLE BIT OF MAGIC: ON GROWING UP WITH OUR KIDS

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by Michelle Horton

Related: young parents, parenting when young, becoming an early mom, raising a child in new york,


Michelle Horton, founder of Early Mama, shares a story on raising her son as a young parent.

Noah is obsessed with magic wands, which he makes from just about anything that’s long and skinny. Just in my eyeshot, I see two tree sticks, a plastic golf club, a drumstick, and an empty paper-towel roll—all his magic wands. And that’s only a fraction of his wand hoarding.

Early Mama Michelle Horton

The author, Michelle Horton, and her son, Noah
Nikki Addimando/Picnik Photography

But these aren’t superhero wands or even magician wands, but fairy wands. As in the Three Good Fairies and Fairy Godmothers. After a love affair with Sleeping Beauty (make it pink! make it blue!) and Cinderella, his new favorite wand-related source of music and happiness is the Rodgers & Hammerstein version of Cinderella with Whitney Houston and Brandy. Remember that ABC special? Back in ’97?

He loves it. (So do I.)

And, naturally, because he’s a human with a pulse, his favorite song to sing around the house is “Impossible.” He especially likes the part where the
lyrics change to say “It’s possible” (because of the zanies and fools who don’t believe in sensible rules).

So do I.

I like to think I’m “grown up” now—what with a marriage certificate tucked away in an organized filing system, butted up next to my child’s social security card and our insurance policies.

But—c’mon. I’m not. I’m not.

And instead of sticking my fingers in my ears screaming la la la lalalalala I’m mature! I’m different! LALALALA, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about and accepting where I am.

Sure I’m not stumbling home on a Saturday morning only to find 47 unflattering photos tagged on Facebook from a night I can barely remember. Just hearing someone use the word ‘drama’ instinctively causes my eyes to roll—as if I shot back through time, to the high school cafeteria, and are you people still doing this? I pay my bills, cook family dinners, tuck my son in every night, healthy and clean and well-cared for, with a soft whisper of sweet dreams. And if the whisper doesn’t work, I rock and console him, promising to always protect him, meaning it in the most primal of ways.

But that’s just surface maturity.

In all honesty, I’m still in a primitive state of adulthood. When it comes to not only parenting and (especially) marriage, but life in general, the leaves fall off trees and I wonder if they’ll ever grow back. I have the experience, the perspective, of a 25-year-old, and that’s okay. Read More on Early Mama...

 


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