capturing magic

My kingdom for time. Time to read, time to clean, time to snuggle my baby girls (who are no longer babies, but will always be mine.) Time to write. Oh, to have time to write.

Alas, it’s not to be. But this.

I have to share this.

So let’s get on with it, shall we?

Two summers ago, I wrote this …

There is a place.

A magical place.

A place where children grow wings.

It sits on a tiny spit of land in the middle of the Sea – on a bandstand overlooking a park overlooking the sand overlooking that sea.

It is a place where imagination is King and children are chomping crocodiles and lumbering, stomping dinosaurs and monkeys swinging from vine to vine.

It’s a place where they are last-second game-winning baseball players and brave astronauts and beautiful, spinning ballerinas.

It’s a place where the ground is hot, hot sand and then wavy, mermaid-inhabited ocean, then just as quickly, dense, wet, sticky jungle. Then, with a switch of the CD, it’s a dark, thick forest and then a ride on an eagle’s back to a cool, clear mountain top. Until blast off, of course, when it becomes the farthest reaches of outer space.

It is a place with no limits.

It is a place where children are free.

It is a place where there is never, ever a hint of judgement.

It is a place overflowing with acceptance. No, not acceptance, celebration. And respect. And love. And light. And warmth. And gratitude.

It is a place where joy mingles with peace and things – incredible things – happen.

It is a place where an eleven year-old girl can still dance with five year-olds and not care who’s watching because ‘it would be wonderful if you could stay to help the younger kids. Ya know, if you’d like to.’ 

It’s a place where her autistic sister is engaged, alive, open, happy, and deliciously FREE. It is a place – the place – where she is more fully herself than anywhere else on Earth.

It is a place where a mother runs with a camera, zig-zagging across the stage in a frenzy, darting in and out of children moving this way and that, dodging arms stretched to the sky and legs kicking pretend soccer balls, determined to capture precious moment after precious moment. A place where she takes pictures to convince herself that that much joy was real. Because she knows she’ll need to remind herself later that it is possible.

Because of a woman, an amazing woman, a dance therapist by training and a pure, beautiful, generous spirit by nature, who has dedicated her life to sharing the sheer joy of movement with kids like mine …

There is a place.

A magical place.

A place where children grow wings.

The class is for 3 to 5 year-olds. Brooke is 11. I suggest perhaps she’d like to wait for the yoga class instead this year. “I will do both,” she says.

“Hmm,” I stutter, “I’ll have to ask Miss Marjory if it’s okay.”

She hands me my phone. “Could you ask her now, please?”

Miss Marjory’s class is the Why of Nantucket for Brooke. The island, the beach, the surf, all of our silly and sacred traditions here – these are all a backdrop for movement class. Our family comes here for vacation. Brooke? She comes for movement class.

“Has she said it’s okay yet?” she asks.

“Not yet, baby.”

“Has she said it’s okay yet?” she asks again.

“Not yet, baby.”

Times 432.

Miss Marjory writes back.

“She says she’d love to have you in movement class!”

Brooke squeals as though she’s just won the lottery. Perhaps she has.

It’s funny to see her towering over the littles. I’m unaccustomed to seeing her tower over anyone.

They flock to her. The little girls fight to sit next to her in the circle. One in particular, no bigger than a minute, won’t leave her side. In the middle of class, she throws her arms around Brooke and hugs her for all she’s worth. Brooke looks bemused by her affection, but not perturbed. I snap a photo and send it to Luau. “She has a fan,” I write.

We bike to Something Natural for lunch. As always, the yard is teeming with families – kids running every which way, climbing on the boat cum jungle gym, chasing each other through the grass and up the trees.

Two little girls come running to Brooke. Their mom smiles at us. “She’s a rock star,” she says. “Every sentence in our house starts with Brooke.”

I smile back. We chat a bit.

A third, even younger, soon joins the party.

Brooke holds out her hands to them for Ring Around The Rosy. They don’t question her. Why would they? It makes perfect sense. Right here, in this magical place, it all makes perfect sense.

They clasp hands and I dive for my camera, determined to capture this. Determined to show her what this looked like, to document the moment in case she ever needs to be convinced that the joy and the magic of her memories were real.


{image is a photo of Brooke leading three little girls in Ring Around the Rosy.}

I chase down the girls’ parents as they are leaving. I ask for their email address. I will send them the photo, I promise.

But I already know why I really want it.

I’ll tell them about the blog. I’ll ask if it’s okay to share the photo.

To prove that the joy and the magic of my memories are real.

I’ll check for a response.

“Have they said it’s okay yet?” I’ll wonder.

Not yet.

Times 432.

They’ll say yes.

I’ll stare at the photo again and again.

The joy? It’s real.

The magic? Can’t miss it.

I’ll feel like I won the lottery.

Perhaps I have.


11 thoughts on “capturing magic

  1. Oh thank you, thank you, thank you to the moms of Brooke’s movement class for letting us see their adoration and acceptance and the magic. Thank you, for hunting down their permission and sharing with us. This picture lifts me up when so much in the news about our kiddos wears me down.

  2. Brooke had the opportunity to be the expert, to be the big kid who knows what to do. Every kid needs that opportunity, blessings to Miss Marjorie to know this and to give Brooke that opportunity.

  3. God Bless Ms. Marjorie and thank God for such a magical place for your whole family! And many blessings to the little bits who found Brooke to be a rock star because she truly is!

  4. Thank you for this. I wish I’d been a bird in a nearby tree that afternoon watching Brooke lead the dance. Bravo, Miss Brooke! But remember, I’m not ready to relinquish my classes yet. xoxoxo

  5. Oh how beautiful, I’m so happy for you and Brooke. My Aspie girl is 15 and would love to play ‘puppy dogs’ all day. its getting hard to find playmates these days.

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