The Modern Momma: Magical Moments

Kristy Eckert
Kristy Eckert

We sat on his bed together—Cooper, Daddy and me—and watched as Coop opened the secret envelope. It was the night before his first day of second grade. His teacher had sent the envelope a week earlier, with instructions to open it on this particular evening just before going to bed.

Coop pulled out a tiny bag of colorful sequins and a poem. Intrigued, he began to read aloud.

This, the poem explained,is jitter glitter. Lots of kids get nervous or excited about the first day back to school. Put this under your pillow, and it will help you sleep, the poem promised.

Coop smiled as he tucked the pouch beneath his pillow. “Let's see if it works,” he said, wide-eyed, snuggling into his covers. He pretended to sleep immediately, then giggled.

He has slept with his jitter glitter every night since.

Magic, he believes, is real.

It reminded me of being his age. I desperately wanted a red, white and blue sailor dress. One day, my mom and I walked to the creek down the road where we sometimes adventured. We climbed a few rocks toward the water and then sat. “Close your eyes and make a wish,” she said.

I'm not sure if I made my wish aloud, whispered it to her later or she already knew I wanted that dress so badly that it was the only thing I would have wished for.

A few days later, we returned to that exact spot. She gasped. I looked. Between the rocks, the tips of a plastic bag peeked out. I scrambled down, lifted the biggest rock, and there it was: my dress.

Magic, I knew, was real.

I spend time throughout the summers at Flying Horse Farms, a camp for children with serious illnesses. At one point this year, a group of campers made a list of impossible things. Among them? Swimming in a pool of doughnuts. Counselors who saw it accepted the challenge.

Later, before that particular group of kids got into the pool, a counselor lined them up to take a very serious photo. Behind them, staff members quietly set afloat plastic bags holding the sugary treats. The photographer finally looked up.

“Why are you being so serious,” he yelled, “when there are doughnuts in the pool?”

The kids turned around, and their screams of joy were heard on the other edge of camp.

Magic, they learned, is everywhere.

At least it's everywhere we choose to put it.

The reality is, life gets busy. And the world is filled with hate and evil and a whole bunch of stuff we wish we didn't have to explain to our kids. But we all hold the power to shake things up.

So thank you to the amazing young people at camp who made the impossible happen. To my mom, who continues making life a wonder-filled journey. And to teachers like Mrs. Cruz who dream up secret envelopes of jitter glitter.

Here's to the magic-makers.

Kristy Eckert is a Powell mom and founder of Kristy Eckert Communications. You can reach her at