The Truth behind Mommy Magic

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What is it behind that special mommy quality that can make a scraped knee feel better with a band-aid and a kiss? Keep reading (The House of Hendrix)Mommy magic is the ability to make a scraped knee feel better with a band-aid and a kiss. It’s that sixth sense that knows where to find a lost lovey at bedtime.  It’s how a million little details quietly get done to make a birthday special.

Last night I returned home to my family after a short trip away. As I was putting my children to bed, we were going over our checklist for today. I asked Campbell if he and Smokey, our hamster, were ready for the Pet Parade at school the coming morning.

 He rushed over to the cage and cried as he remembered ,“Mamma, Smokey escaped a few days ago and I didn’t make a float! Why hasn’t he come back?”

Tears, and fear of having no pet for the Pet Parade, ensued. After he shut down my idea of Smokey being an ‘Invisible Hamster’, I kissed his head and said I would find him.

Today at 12:30,  I showed up at the Pet Parade with Smokey, the Escape Artist hamster. Campbell was overjoyed because I had worked my Mommy Magic.Mommy magic is the ability to make a scraped knee feel better with a band-aid and a kiss. It’s that sixth sense that knows where to find a lost lovey at bedtime.  It's how a million little details quietly get done to make a birthday special.

But it’s not magic at all, is it? Let’s rewind.

I went to bed last night wondering how I was going to find a nocturnal hamster. Was he under the kitchen sink? The bathroom sink? In a bedroom? I laid in bed waiting. Praying. Hoping. I heard a ruffle at 2am. Was it Smokey?

I put on a headlamp as to not wake my husband. I crawled around the floor…in my nightie…with a headlamp…following the noise for an hour and a half. I finally caught him.

I returned him to his cage but wondered how long before he escaped again, after all escaping is his specialty. So I put the cage in the bathtub, a double barrier of sorts. At the moment,  I think I’m brilliant.

Come today about 2 hours before the Pet Parade, I tweak the wires of the cage for the journey to school. It appears secure. A quick shower later, I return to an empty cage. Thankfully he hadn’t gotten far and it was an easy capture.

This time I grab a deep kitchen bucket, one with walls too high to scale. We hop in the car. I exhale but a little too soon.Why we do ridiculous things for our children

At a stoplight a mile from school, I see the hamster on the passenger floor mat jetting into the crawl space leading to… who knows where. The engine?

I pull into the Publix parking lot and, in desperation, buy celery and peanut butter to lure Smokey out of hiding. Not immediately, but it worked. Ten minutes later, I arrive at the Pet Parade.

There are spaceship-themed wagons with astronaut dogs. There are chickens on a hay-rides. There are princess cats, Ballerina bunnies, and Magician dogs.Why we go above and beyond for our childrenThe hamster that almost didn't make the Pet ParadeWhy we go above and beyond for our children

I show up with a dirty kitchen bucket, a dishtowel shoved into the bottom, and Smokey peeking out from underneath. Although uncharacteristically uncreative, I’m thrilled with the result, a living hamster.Mommy magic is the ability to make a scraped knee feel better with a band-aid and a kiss. It’s that sixth sense that knows where to find a lost lovey at bedtime.  It's how a million little details quietly get done to make a birthday special.

When Campbell saw his beloved pet, his eyes looked into mine and sparkled. “Mamma! You found him! You’re the best!” He carried that rodent around with such pride letting his friends take turns ogling over it.

I had a secret story today that nobody else there knew. As I looked around this amazing display of pets and parents, I realize that I’m surrounded by a lot of secret stories. The dad who snuck out of an important meeting just in time to see his daughter twirl with her cat. I watch a mom work her magic as she calms her anxious son’s nerves over parading in front of a crowd. Whatever she whispered into his ear worked.

The truth is mommy magic is simply the result of an unexplainable love that makes us do over-the-top ridiculous things to delight our children, to avoid catastrophic meltdowns, and to bring peace to our loved ones souls.

We can find missing shoes because our minds never shut off. As we walk from a bedroom to a garage, we’re cataloging everything we see for future use…a channel changer peeking out from a couch…a shin guard in the pantry…a stuffed animal in the backyard.

This deep love also makes us willingly, and without hesitation, give our time, sleep and energy to our children. Love is interesting like that and sometimes doesn’t make sense to an outsider. Because finding that hamster was important to my son, it was important to me. You may spend hours making a birthday cake shaped like a Lego robot to create that magical moment for your child. Or you may go to 7 stores looking for the perfect pair of shorts that don’t have an itchy tag in the back. Maybe you work an extra job so your child can play club soccer.

Or maybe you have simply brought peace to a home that desperately needed it.

Today I celebrate mothers because you make magic happen each and every day. Your stories may never be told and your sacrifices never acknowledged, but you change the world around you with your love.


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46 thoughts on “The Truth behind Mommy Magic

    • This is such a wonderful post! I almost want to print out some of your phrases & frame them where I can see them & feel validated for my sometimes absurd acts of love! Or put them in my hubby’s face as he’s looking at me like a wacko as I’m committing absurd acts of love for my children, lol! Thank you for getting it, and getting it enough to put it into words! Much love!

  1. Oh Allison!!!! Thank you so much for that! I went from laughing out loud to big fat tears rolling down my face reading this post! You are so right, and you hit the nail on the head with ” our minds never shut off. As we walk from a bedroom to a garage, we’re cataloging everything we see for future use…”. WOW. That is so me! That was me this morning reminding myself that I need to make jello Minecraft Water Buckets for my son’s birthday party tomorrow, and that I need to give the dog a bath and cut her nails so she doesn’t scratch any of the kids. It’s those 4 am thoughts that keep us on task and ready to come to the rescue at a moment’s notice. Thank you for writing that. I will share!!

    • So glad Lissa. My sister also has 4 kids under the age of 13 and I am in constant awe of her ability to juggle, sustain, and persevere through the most exhausting of days. Hang in there Mama. You ladies are changing lives.

    • I just busted out laughing Pamela. I’ve never heard anybody other than our family even acknowledge Smokey, more or less congratulate me on outsmarting the little guy. You made my day new friend.

  2. Best H of H post yet! I love it, have lived it and will come back and read this on “those” days I need it the most. You are awesome! You Stadler girls give us all something to look up to, strive towards and learn from. Love you! XOXO

  3. Allison, I loved this post. While I loved the appreciation part, I especially loved it because it reminds us there are often stories behind the people we see that should cause us to tread a little lighter with each other. Was the woman who was rude in the grocery store just tired because she was up at 3am with a crying infant? Is the person who cut you off grieving over a hurt family member? And how many steps did you have to go through before getting that seemed to those around you to appear just magically on the dinner table? We tend to judge on the outside, at the last moment we see, but the secret stories often would give us a totally different — more generous and appreciative — picture.

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  6. The gift with words you have, to put me right there with a headlamp on, is amazing. Every post touches my heart. I’m not online much, but when I need a quick rich dose of mom support, I come straight to your House:) I’m so grateful that you share your stories Allison. I pray to God and I thank Him with a wink for you.

  7. I love the “cataloging everything we see for future use”. My son just asked where his hat was. I told him I wasnt sure. His response? Give me some ideas where it might be!! I guess he knows I have been right before.

  8. Just found your blog….in love! Mommy Magic is so true! We have it, but forget every so often, so thank you for the reminder and the tears 🙂 Im a working mom of one 4 yr old boy. Im in awe of mommies like you that can juggle it all and blog about it! Keep up the good work/words!

    • Thanks Kristen! I smile reading your comment because YOU are the working mama juggling it all, loving on your 4 year old. It’s not always easy but our love for these babies of ours sure makes it worth it. Happy to meet you.

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  10. So True… Thanks for saying it out loud for me. Exactly what happened. Continually cataloging work things, household things, what our two lil boys need for today, and the next days, the birthday parties, shopping list, etc.

  11. I Truly wish I could tell you how much I needed this today. Finding worth in being a stay at home mom is something I’m struggling with today. However, this post reminded me that there are many times, more than I can count, when my husband looks at me and says “you are a WIZARD! HOW did you find that?!” or “HOW did you know what she wanted/needed?! I’ve been trying for 10 minutes to figure it out”

    We are pretty magical, aren’t we? 😉 Thank you for this post!

    • That makes me so happy Tiffany. We can be so hard on ourselves particularly when culture defines so many standards for us to live up to…What a good parents looks like, what a great pet parade float should look like, what our bodies should look like, what success looks like…that it’s hard to stay grounded that we are each created unique with different gifts, different passions, and different circumstances. Comparing ourselves not only robs us of joy and can make us feel like a failure, but devalues our unique perspective on the world as well as others. Like your husband said, we should celebrate those “wizard” moments in each other. Mothers have incredible insight into those they love creating those magical moments. You keep at it Tiffany! You are creating magical memories for your family that they don’t even realize.

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