Magical Thinking Jar

Let me begin by saying, that once again, this is not my original idea.  Some time after reading The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, I came across this post at inchmark  and realized I had not considered applying the simple and lovely idea I had read about in the book to my own children.  Then again, Didion’s book is very moving and well written, but it is not a happy story.

The idea is beautiful in its simplicity and do-ability: kids say amazing things and if you don’t jot them down they’re lost in the jumble of mental traffic.  I’m just not organized enough to keep a journal or anything like that.  I am the woman with  two half-completed baby books: one for each child!

Instead I grab whatever is handy to write on: a grocery list, a bill envelope, a receipt, a paper bag (you get the idea) and write it down and put it in the jar.  It doesn’t have to be a fancy jar, even an old spaghetti sauce jar will suffice.

Here, in no particular order, are the musings of my two children.

Kid logic: Put a lid on it kid!

I’d noticed that

Some things just creep you……..shall we talk about that?


These are those everyday thoughts that are all too easily forgotten.   Recently I’ve wondered if I should move the Jar to my bedside as Clara has gotten into the habit of talking in her sleep; sometimes she even bursts into fits of giggles in her sleep.  The majority of those nocturnal murmurings are forgotten by morning and perhaps that is just as it should be.  At least I can remember some of the things she says when she’s going to sleep.

Bedtime commentary ranks among the best as far as I can tell.

I agree

However, it’s not all sweet musings.

Nibsy proves she is, indeed, her father’s daughter.  

For those in doubt, read on:

And some just demonstrate pure kid logic, which is probably a very accurate definition of magical thinking.

Hard work that

Now all of this jotting things down started a few years ago, when Nibsy was the only child on scene at our house.  Back then, a simple quart-sized canning jar would do the trick.  When we welcomed Clara into the world, the jar started to get a bit crowded.  And that’s not because Clara made any contributions to the jar herself right off the bat.  She told us what she thought about things when she was good and ready, thank you very much! However, Nibsy made some very  lovely observations on becoming a big sister.

Seems only fair, since your little sister appears to have put a shine in your eye…….

Me too

It was inevitable: Nibsy busted me writing something down once and figured out it was something she’d said.  I explained what I was doing, and why, and that later we could look at things she’d said when she was little and have a laugh.  Maybe on a rainy day.

So we did just that, on one of those drizzly winter days that are well-suited to pillow fort building and hot chocolate.

Yeah that happens sometimes

Nibsy’s observations on Christmas decor are somewhat unconventional but I would argue that they have been influenced by the media she was commenting on: illuminated plastic nativity scenes.  Those things make me scratch my head too.

It should hardly be surprising that she would arrive at such conclusions when her queries about Rudolph the Reindeer’s cohorts elicit responses such as this one:

See what I mean? 

Clara has come out with some gems of her own already, and is showing tremendous promise but this hardly comes as a surprise: the child has personality to burn.

Ya think? 

It’s terrible when that happens!

Me too! We have so much in common!

Is that so?  Well alright then. 

 We can rest assured there’ll be plenty more where those came from! They are making direct contributions these days:

You may recognize me, pictured at the far left, by my hairstyle

More often than not, I am reminded of how worthwhile this exercise is:

Time goes way too fast!


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