Mommy Magic

by Fawn Catigbe-Palumbo
Originally Published: 
A street and trees fully covered with snow

I will never forget the day that magic came into my home. REAL magic. The kind that keeps kids wondering for a lifetime. Not like Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny or the crazy uncle who can mysteriously disconnect his thumb from the rest of his hand. This magic…this magic is real, it’s special because it doesn’t fade. It only gets more wondrous with time.

My son was 3, and it was a winter in New York City, right around Christmas and it wasn’t feeling very Christmassy. My son sat in the window on an overcast day. The forecast called for rain, with the unseasonable warm weather, there was no chance of snow. I certainly didn’t think it could happen.

We live on a major avenue and the traffic is horrendous at best. We used to play a game, when he was this young. I would ask him what color each car or truck was, we would count the cars stopped at the light, count the wheels and laugh at the people yelling at each other while tangled in the snarl of rush hour traffic. But today, he didn’t want to play that game. He just sat there, and looked up into the sky, waiting.

“What are you looking at B?” I asked him.

“I’m looking out da window!” he replied, with more than just a little bit of drool hanging off his bottom lip.

“I can see that, but what are you looking for? A plane?” I prodded as I looked up too, wondering what he was seeing.

“I’m waiting for sthnow!” (Yes, he talked with a lisp.)

He looked like a plump little yellow rabbit, in a yellow one piece footie pajama, with huge rosy cheeks, and big brown eyes, perched atop a dining room chair looking expectantly up at the iron grey sky, like he was waiting for gumdrops and Skittles to come tumbling down at any minute.

Now, I knew for sure that there wasn’t supposed to be any snow that day, or any day soon, as far as the weather man knew, it was just too warm. But me, being a mommy, felt just as bad, because we never want our children to be disappointed. Especially not this close to Christmas, and they refuse to move from the window until the snow comes.

“I don’t think that it’s going to snow today B.” I said.

I mean, you don’t explain El Nino to a 3 year old and think that is going to solve the everything, so I did what any other rational parent would do….and I made him a promise.

“If I promise that it will snow soon, will you come with me away from the window?”

“You promisth to make it sthnow Mom?”

“Yeah I promise, if you promise to come to the living room with me.”

“Okay! Do it now!” he demanded, like only a 3 year old can.

So, I reach into my jean pocket and pulled out….nothing. I cupped it in my hand so he couldn’t see that I had nothing. I rubbed it between my hands, kissed it and blew it away toward the window, up to the sky.

“What wasth that! What wasth that!” he shouted as he jumped up and down.

“Ah! That Sir Cheeks … (My name for him still) was Mommy Magic! And with that Mommy Magic, it will snow. Real soon*.” I added mysteriously. (*Note the disclaimer.)

We walked away from the window and I sat to watch my evening program, when 10 minutes later, my boy is back at the window hopping up and down, screaming and pointing wildly. I could only think to myself “I didn’t hear a car crash outside?!”


Now at this point, in my mind, I am thinking that someone spiked the sippy cup and my kid is tripping on Strawberry Quick. But when I got up and looked out the window, sure enough…it was snowing.

“Mommy Magic worked!!” he cried.

We both just watched in awe (me especially), as the snowflakes came down and spread a white blanket over the grey city streets. The avenue got really quiet, the way only snow can mute the sound of a busy city, if only for a short while.

From then on, whenever he got a sports injury from a race around the dining room table, professional stunts that require strict concentration while leaping off of tall dining room chairs (which he does all on his own with no body double I might proudly say), all I had to do was whip out the Mommy Magic and it miraculously made all the tears go away.

Thankfully, he never asked me to provide any more snow, make the rain disappear (I really would have loved to get that one to perfection), or prevent any other natural disaster from happening. Once was enough for him to believe that magic really does exist, if you believe in it. I still don’t know why it snowed. Even the weather men were really freaked out on the news that night. I wonder if it was really me, and Mommy Magic, or if it was my baby and the magic that a toddler carries in his heart.

Tonight my son came home from school with a nasty bruise on his knee from basketball. He’s twelve now. As I tucked him in, and we talked about his bad day on the courts, he asked me to rub some Mommy Magic on his knee so he can play well tomorrow. I didn’t think that he believed in that anymore. I humored him and did it anyway. We laughed. It’s a really ugly bruise and I know that it must have really hurt, but anything that I can do to make him feel better, I’ll do.

If he still believes in Mommy Magic that can only mean one thing: That even if no one else does, and even if I don’t believe in myself, it means that he still believes in me.

Related post: About a Boy

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