‘Finding the Magic in the Everyday’
When my eldest daughter was a toddler, I tried to introduce her to some Disney classics, but she was too young and quickly lost interest. Surprisingly, the first movie to hold her attention was ‘The Muppets’, or ‘The Moopets’ as she called it. As you observe children watch movies, You realise that they aren’t required to have ‘suspension of disbelief’, instead to them, a movie isn’t something coming out of a box via technology. The television is a portal to the world of ‘The Muppets’, and when they don’t want to view that Henson world anymore, they can tune in to something else, and disappear down the modern rabbit hole somewhere else.
The special effects employed in movies these days greatly surpass the talents of the Henson’s Muppets, in such legendary movies as ‘The Labyrinth’ or ‘The Never Ending Story’, which often look a bit odd to us adults watching them back. But for kids, it doesn’t matter how fancy the effects are or how big the budget is – the world that is presented is that world exactly how it is. Think the dog looks a bit strange as he flies through the sky? Well, that’s how it looks. Think the Oompa Loompas looked a bit orange in Willy Wonka, well, yes, they were orange!
To children, the world is magical. Fireworks are magic (I must admit, I do get giddy with excitement over the New Year’s Fireworks we have here in Sydney, they are pretty spectacular). Butterflies, ladybugs and even moths are magic. I watch with wonder as kids enjoy the world as it is presented to you. They don’t question tomorrow. They don’t actually hassle you for the latest toy, okay, maybe once or twice. Whilst in the shops, they will energetically clamour over to the well-positioned product at the check out, but after we’ve survived that, they are back to enjoying the thrill of seeing a baby pass us in the shops, or someone with a puppy.
Parents want to give their children the world, but to our children, we are the world. And everything we give them – through the movies, the books, the people we see are all of the world that become aware of. If they don’t see it through us, then it doesn’t exist. Russia could be Tasmania for all kids understand. Tasmania could be Japan. I mean this in a geographical context not a political context, but on politics, we all know that no child is born racist right? Not only are we presenting them with the world through their experiences with us, but we are also shaping their ideological frameworks. No pressure.
Share the magic with your kids, and look for it beyond the special effects. The eyes of children help to make the world seem a more magical place.