When Anika was five years old, I met a lovely lady who asked me how old my little girl was. I told her Anika was five, and then she sighed dramatically, closed her eyes, and said very expressively, “Five is enchanting!”
I’ve thought of it many times since.
Whenever Anika has a smile of pure and utter joy, brought on by a simple pleasure in life which only a child would notice, I hear those words again – “Five is enchanting.”
Except I replace it with whatever age she happens to be. Because they’re all enchanting.
Photos by Morgan Braun
I want to delight in each year of her life, in every stage she goes through.
I want to think she’s an enchanting teenager.:)
I hope when she’s an adult, I’ll still be thinking, “Thirty is enchanting!”
There are a couple of reasons for this:
Enchanting is a wonderful word, and is not used enough. How different would your life be with a little more enchantment in it?
I want Anika to embrace change and aging. I wish she would see each new year as an exciting possibility for endless opportunities and adventures.
When she was a baby, I remember being tempted to get really sad when she would leave a fun stage behind. I’d pack away all those little sleepers she outgrew, and I cried when she started drinking from a bottle. I was so sad that she didn’t need me quite as much, and Ben joked she’d be moving out the next week, full of her own independence.
But it didn’t take long for me to realize that if I was going to be sad about each stage she left behind, I would be sad all the time.
So I decided to stop. As much as I possibly could, I didn’t let my mind go there. I tried to look ahead to the future, and all of the good things we would enjoy in the stages to come.
Somehow, that decision has carried on. Yes, I definitely have moments of wishing those chubby arms would hug me forever, but I have two choices: I can feel sad because the moment won’t last, or I can enjoy the moment for all it’s worth, soaking in every single last drop of delight, so that in the years to come, I will remember, because I was fully present in the joy of it.
When she is an adult, I want her to know that I still delight in her. To wish her young again would be to wish she was less than she is – to take away what she has gained, just for the sake of my own pleasure.
But it’s not about my pleasure. I want her to learn and grow and change.
So I will choose to be enchanted right now.
She turned nine this week, and nine is just wonderful. We will be fully present in the moments of today, so that we can look back on them in years to come and remember, with joy and not regret.
I hope you have an enchanting day, no matter what age you are!