Parenting in a
Parenting is hard enough when you don't factor in
external variables... but what happens when your children know that their
thoughts and feelings can change the physical world with wishes and
prayers? What do you do when your children know about reality shifts and
swear "I didn't do it -- it was a reality shift!"?
Fortunately, this happens only occasionally in my home. Although both of
my daughters have grown up hearing about and discussing reality shifts,
they don't often use the "reality shift" defense when faced with something
that has been broken, lost, or damaged around the house.
In fact, my daughters most often use the notion of reality shifts at times
when they need help finding something they've lost. Sometimes, these
things are REALLY lost, and no amount of searching by the entire family
together can turn them up. One such instance was when my younger daughter
was in the kitchen, looking for her juice cup.
she asked me, her voice quavering with concern. She was at
that tender preschool age when the loss of her favorite non-spill juice cup
was a Big Deal.
"I don't know... where did you last see
I replied. I could see by the way she was wandering back
and forth through the kitchen that she had no idea, and she confirmed this
The two of us searched high and low all around the house,
until my daughter started to chant over and over again,
"Hope for REALITY SHIFT!
Hope for... REALITY SHIFT!"
For some reason, this show of optimism in the face of
seeming catastrophe brought a smile to my face, and I laughed aloud with
joy as I saw her bright face smiling back at me. She really believed with
all her heart that her juice cup would reappear... somehow...
Her shining eyes and smiling face filled my heart with love, and I found
myself wishing with all my heart that she would soon find her favorite
juice cup somewhere in the house. We'd searched every possible place where
it would normally be (the refrigerator, the dishwasher, the sink, the
dinner table, the kitchen counter) as well as the strange places where we
wouldn't expect to find it (her bedroom, the living room, outdoors on the
front porch, the bathroom), and we just kept smiling and walking around the
house in a big repetitive circle.
On one of our many circles around the house, I saw something sitting up at
my eye level on top of the refrigerator. It was my daughter's juice cup!
I was certain that she could not have put it there, and equally certain
that nobody else had put it there... and positive that I would have seen it
if it had been there earlier.
I was delighted to reach up for the cup and hand it back down to her --
basking in the triumphant look that shone from her face and seemed to