I recently discovered the movie Beautiful Creatures on HBO and became immediately obsessed with the tween fantasy unfolding on the screen. Confession – before starting to write this post I checked the guide to see if it was playing… and guess what’s on in the background right now? (I also went onto Amazon and bought the three remaining books in the series so I’m fully prepared for the next movie installment. Of course, something with this much cheeze and teen angst had to start from a Twilightesque book series.) In this story, “mortals,” or humans, have no powers; they live in the mortal world and go about their day to day business as usual. “Casters,” similar to witches and wizards, also live in the mortal world but have the powers to perform spells, create fire, control weather, etc. This particular tale gives the same old wizarding story a twist: women are “claimed” for good or for evil on their 16th birthday. They have no choice; it has been written for them.
Last night Man tucked himself in tightly while dressed in his wizard’s costume – he insisted on sleeping in it – I walked out of his room “like a penguin” and his daddy followed behind walking “like a baboon.” In that moment, walking like two animals out of our son’s room at his command, I realized that children are also magical – in a way, they are casters. With the simple words, “Mommy, can you walk out like a penguin tonight and daddy you walk like a baboon?” we were, without even a choice, spellbound into walking out of the room just as our little caster had requested.
Like the movie, I assume sometime around 16 or so all children are “claimed”. They will still be able to cast spells over us, for they will always be our babies, but most of the power will wear off – diluted, I believe, by that magical potion called hormones. Disclaimer: I do not have teenagers so this might be slightly inaccurate, but I was one once and I can tell you I was far from enchanting. In those first years before the innocence wears off they are simply supernatural, and as parents we are mere mortals under their spells.
Using their power for both good and evil:
They have the ability to hear your heavy eyelids close for the day and begin to cry/call for you right at that exact moment. Zombielike, you climb out of bed and go to them without hesitation.
They know the exact combination of buttons to push to drive you right to the edge.
When they say “I love you” it literally makes your heart melt.
Somehow wearing tutus and other obnoxious children’s clothing makes you coo with “awwwww’s and ohhhhh’s.”
They can cry without tears.
They can morph from sweet and innocent to crazy and wild in less than a nanosecond.
They can bring you to your knees with happiness, love, fear, anger, frustration, and excitement. Basically, they can have power over parental emotion with their mind-control spells.
Without eating all day, they can still have enough energy to run a marathon.
They can speak in gibberish, yet to your ears, in your brain, they make perfect sense.
When they say things like, “More broccoli and lamb, please?” it’s literally music to your ears. Somewhere, Handel’s Messiah starts playing.
Suddenly my feet are moving without my control. I am crossing the room to retrieve an object that is 30 feet from me but only two feet from them. I hand it to them without a complaint.
When they let you look at the world through their eyes, it shaves off decades and turns you into a child agan.
They let us think we created them, but really, they have made us.
Their very scent is so intoxicating that it makes us forget that it’s 3:30AM and we have been tending to them since 1. They are these magical creatures that keep us enchanted under their grip so we serve their needs. So mesmerized am I, despite the stresses I would have another one tomorrow. They give our lives such purpose, such clarity and meaning that they have to be made of magic.