Random header image... Refresh for more!

350th Friday Blog Roundup

Thank you for the kind words about the Roundup yesterday.  I am very fond of this weekly ritual, happy that it’s still going five years later.  I never get bored reading blogs.  And while the same topics come around year after year, people always manage to write about them in a fresh way.  No two blog posts are alike, even when covering the same situation, the same emotions, the same wishes.


On Wednesday, we had one of those sick days that wasn’t really a sick day.  We played in the house until mid-afternoon when we decided, after reading a few chapters in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, that we wanted to get a Harry Potter Lego toy.  We went to the toy store but they only had one set in stock, so we ended up wandering around the aisles.  That is where the twins found the magic set.

“This toy will help us do real magic like Harry Potter!” the ChickieNob exclaimed.  She’s the sort who likes to practice a lot, prepare herself for things.  She may have thought that she’d be a shoo-in for Hogwarts if she proved her ability to make a ball disappear well before that eleventh year threshold.

I explained to them the difference between real magic (right?  Can we all just agree that we’re going to believe that real magic exists?) and a magic trick.  You have never seen two children both more disappointed and more willing to still have a magic trick even if it was just an illusion.  And then, I heard myself telling them that I would drive them over to a magic store.

I had never been in the magic store; had only seen it from the road, and I have to admit that the exterior creeped me out a little bit.  And I can now tell you that it’s the sort of store that Ativan was made for.  You enter the store and you are in an empty room save for a fake tree and dozens of ripped up playing cards glued to the ground.  You then climb a concrete stairwell up two flights, encountering things like this along the way:

Finally, you enter the store and it is like being over at the Frankenstein place a la Rocky Horror.  I half expected Riff Raff and Magenta to come out from behind one of the red velvet curtains and do a song and dance before serving us Eddie.  The owner was incredibly kind and patient, immediately picking up on how important this trip was to the twins.  She took them to the side and showed them her wand.  She made flowers grow from an invisible seed in a pot.  She turned a penny into a dime.

Finally, the ChickieNob, unable to contain herself, sank down on the floor and said in the saddest voice, “please, can’t I have a real wand like you?  I want to be magical so badly and I can’t wait.”

And the owner just smiled at her and said, “you are breaking my heart because you’re so cute, but no, the Ministry of Magic will not let me sell you a real wand until you are eleven.  But until then, I can teach you how to appear to be magical with tricks.”

They both perked up with this and I wish I had filmed their faces as she did a series of tricks for them.  Delight.  That word perfectly captures the look on their faces.  We explained one last time that once she taught them how to do the trick, it would be ruined for them.  They’d be able to do magic for others, but it would no longer feel magical to them.  They took this chance and each bought a trick, and she taught them how to do it.  They drove home, practicing their trick in the car.  What they lacked in skill, they made up for in heart.  Then they woke up at the crack of dawn on Thursday morning to show Josh their magic trick (even though they normally sleep past eight) because they couldn’t wait.

Despite what others think, I don’t believe the twins are in for an enormous, life-shattering letdown when they find out that Hogwarts doesn’t exist.  Frankly, I think they already see the clear strings in life based on the questions they ask.  But they want to continue believing so badly that the Cinderella at the Magic Kingdom is a real princess, the tooth fairy is using their baby teeth to create laughter, that Befana rides to their house each year to drop off gifts.  I’m thirty-seven.  I want to believe in it all too; am willing to suspend disbelief.

Isn’t hope just another form of magic?


Since the blogger writes somewhat anonymously, I’m not going to link to her blog here, but I will link to her children’s book, City Life, which rocks.  It’s a picture book (and I love the illustrations by Haytko) about a child going through the city with her two mums.  Great rhythm for reading it aloud.


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Lissie’s Luck has a post asking if she is the only one who has the feeling sometimes that “everything is out of place and nothing I can do will fix it. I don’t know what brings on this feeling. I don’t know how to end it.”  It is the struggle between the “what if” side of the brain and the rational mind.  I hope writing it out helped her release it.

Better Full Than Empty has a post about hitting THAT point in your cycle, the one when you’re filled with dread that it didn’t work.  She explains, “I have come to that dreaded time of the cycle, where everything feels wrong and the doubt is pouring in like icy seawater into the holds of the Titanic. The alarm bells are ringing. So far one of our brave cyclesistas has already been dragged down by a BFN.”  It’s a familiar thought space, but one that she describes uniquely well.

Infertile Fantasies has a post about healing.  It begins with this thought-provoking assertion: “We carry our grief, our anger, and our resentment for further than is necessary when we haven’t yet decided what to do with it. We have, after all, paid dearly for our pain. It’s not reasonable to expect us to part with it easily, even though it is ugly and burdensome.”  It is about someone with primary infertility meeting up with someone with secondary infertility, and what we can give one another.  What actually strengthens us to give away.

Lastly, Baby Smiling in Back Seat has a post about kindness.  About those moments when you realize that you have baked more cakes for other people’s birthdays than they have ever baked back for you.  And just when you are about to sink into a hole of depression considering the lack of reciprocation for the kindness you have sent into the world, a hug comes around.

The roundup to the Roundup: Thank you for the kind thoughts about the Roundup.  Our trip to the magic store.  City Life.  And lots of great blog posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between July 15th and July 22nd) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 Elizabeth { 07.22.11 at 9:43 am }

When I was in 4th grade I convinced myself that I believed in mermaids. And at some level I was aware of the mental gymnastics I was doing, but I preferred to be the kind of person who believes in mermaids when most people would consider you too old to.

And here’s my open thread contribution:
Slowmamma meditates on the anniversary of a loss. A gorgeous, heart-wrenching post.

2 Gail { 07.22.11 at 10:20 am }

I love the magic and wonder of Harry Potter, too. And, I’ll miss it more than anything now that it is all over. I often think about the Stephen King thriller “Misery” in which Kathy Bates’ character kidnaps the author and forces him to write a sequel to his books and bring a character back to life. Although I’d never resort to the things that Kathy Bates does, I would love for JK Rowling to write more Harry Potter stories to satisfy my needs.

A blog that I connected with this week was by Keiko and I’d really like to send it to friends and family as a way of understanding and supporting me through IF. I just haven’t gotten up the courage to do so yet. http://hannahweptsarahlaughed.blogspot.com/2011/07/living-with-infertility-take-two.html

3 Mommy ToBe (I Hope) { 07.22.11 at 10:40 am }

I LOVED magic when I was little. I clearly didn’t have Harry Potter when I was growing up but if I did, I probably would have read each and every book. Instead, I had an uncle who liked to show us magic tricks and my brother and I would try to figure out how he did it so we could repeat it with our friends and family – failing most times!

A blog that I connected with is from Lisa B. I’m just starting my own infertility journey and she has been immersed in hers for a while. But we both share a sense of alone-ness in this journey that touches too many people. I want her to know that she is not alone:

4 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 07.22.11 at 11:30 am }

Thanks for the shout-out! You know, my posts written from the heart (which is rare) rather than the head (which describes most of my writing) always seem to resonate more with you.

In 8th grade our grade had a school-sanctioned nighttime Halloween party. One activity was that each kid had to go in front of everyone to show off their costume and, if appropriate, perform. The kid dressed as Freddy just had to wave his knife fingers menacingly, but the kid dressed as Axl Rose performed a verse of Sweet Child O Mine. I chose to go as a magician, since I’d been working on some tricks and it made for a nice excuse to buy a top hat and a cape. My trick involved making an egg appear and disappear with a handkerchief.

I hadn’t planned on the fact that our “stage” would be in the round. Everyone behind me could see the “hidden” egg.

That was the end of my magic career.

I never believed in the magic anyway; I just liked to try slight of hand. Do magicians believe in magic? Or do they know better?

5 Gil { 07.22.11 at 12:01 pm }

I still believe in magic. I believe in Santa Claus. I believe that love CAN make the world go round. I believe in the fairytale ending. I believe that magic (and hope) lives in all of us. It’s just up to us as to how to use it or to decide to shun it.

Just so you know… of course I realize that Santa Claus is no longer a living being that walks among us and has a workshop at the North Pole and goes to all the children’s homes on Christmas Eve delivering presents. Hhowever, the notion of what he represents is still very much alive. And that is why I can say I believe in him. And that is exactly what I’ll be teaching Petite as she grows up too.

6 HereWeGoAJen { 07.22.11 at 2:16 pm }

I think magic exists.

http://stilllifewithcircles.blogspot.com/2011/07/right-where-i-am.html The Right Where I Am Project that Angie started on her blog has ballooned into this giant beautiful thing. Everyone should click over to see how amazing it has become. And Angie’s post contains a link to another post that is definitely a worthwhile read.

7 Chickenpig { 07.22.11 at 2:28 pm }

I am sure that magic exists. If taking an egg out of me, sticking a sperm into it under a microscope, and making a baby out of it isn’t magical I don’t know WHAT is.

AND I made the blog roundup for the first time EVER and it is the 350th!!!! MAGIC!!!! Wooot! 🙂

8 HereWeGoAJen { 07.22.11 at 2:30 pm }

One more! I loved this post from Not Imitation Cheese. It was a brief letter to her 2003 self and it made me happy. http://anonymouseandcheese.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/livin-the-dream/

9 Esperanza { 07.22.11 at 3:58 pm }

Oh ChickieNob, I just want to hug her. I remember going through a distinct morning period during which time I accepted that there was no such thing as magic or muggles or wizards or Hogwarts. I was 20 year old and it was really rough (and I’m be totally and completely serious). I hope they aren’t too crushed when they find out. Or, better said, I hope they eventually find away to accept it. It is such a devastating reality.

Thanks for five years of the Round Up!

10 Esperanza { 07.22.11 at 3:58 pm }

Ah, I meant mourning. I hate when people mispel that word and now I’m one of them!

11 Lori Lavender Luz { 07.22.11 at 6:54 pm }

How could anyone resist the ChickieNob?

And yes, hope is a form of magic. But hope has an ending and magic doesn’t.

I’m so glad you selected BabySmiling’s post this week. I was gonna put it in because I loved it, too.

Second helping, for the pure snark of it: http://thesmartness.com/smartone/2011/07/why-typepad-is-the-devil.html

12 Jo { 07.22.11 at 11:17 pm }

I say keep the innocence alive as long as possible. What an inspiring and fun day for your children! Those are two lucky kiddos.

13 Kristin { 07.23.11 at 1:37 am }

This post brought a huge smile to my face because I so love the magic of Harry Potter and books. I’ll join you in my willingness to suspend disbelief and tell ChickieNob that is she finds out where Hogwarts is, I’ll be right there on the train with her.

14 Mali { 07.26.11 at 11:14 pm }

I’m kind of jealous of kids who discovered Harry Potter when they were still young enough to believe in it. Like my visit to Disneyland – I walked around it wishing I was still a kid. Imagination IS magic.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
The contents of this website are protected by applicable copyright laws. All rights are reserved by the author