My Practical Magic Childhood

Lilac season was something sacred in my house. There was a beautiful lilac bush seven houses down, and my grandmother and I would walk barefoot and stand under the bush, breathing and breathing and not talking. Twilight was also important, and when it rained we were sitting in the only good wicker chair on the porch, our feet on the railing. And playing chip rummy for hours. And trout paste on melba toast. And aunts, sitting cross-legged with my mom and grandma in the bathroom or the kitchen or someone’s bed and gossiping.

We stopped brewing tea on the stove all day. We didn’t wash the dishes right away unless we wanted to eat more. More dessert forks for more chocolate cake. No more small plates for turkey sandwiches. If the laundry had to be ironed it was done in the living room so no one had to miss out on being together. I think that was the most important thing: the women of our house always had to be together.

We didn’t have to worry about matching socks. Or brushing our teeth and our homework or bedtime. This was for the neighbors. run away from school to watch Days of Our Lives and sit with our feet up, faces covered with cold minty faces. This was for me, my cousins, my aunts, my mom and grandma.

I guess you could say we’re living practice magic home when I was a kid. Magic and wild women and no rules anywhere. And I think maybe that’s how everything should be.

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Gillian and Sally Owens, played by Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock, moved in with their two aunts, Frances (Stockard Channing) and Jet (Dianne Wiest) as children. © 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Go back to the women of Owens’ 1998 classic practice magic. For the uninitiated, these women are condemned to a curse where the men they love are constantly dying and instead attempting to be gorgeous. Gillian and Sally Owens, played by Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock, moved in with their two aunts, Frances (Stockard Channing) and Jet (Dianne Wiest) after their parents’ death. The first thing they learn about living with their eccentric aunt is that there are no rules.

Women, our mothers were the main characters and their love was a true love story. They all had their own love stories, cursed and otherwise – good guys and bad guys and guys with a shadowy presence on the periphery. I’m sorry to tell them, but they were not the real issue.

As Aunt Frances immediately told them, “In this house, we eat chocolate cake for breakfast and never bother with silly things like bedtime or tooth brushing.” Instead, little girls live a somewhat wild life. They wear angel wings and walk around in nightgowns casting spells with their faces covered in chocolate. They grow up to rebel and want other things, but the enchanting attraction of their home is calling them back stronger than any other love.

And this is me and this is us.

My mother left her husband when I was 4 years old and the first thing she did was go home to her siblings and mother. He brought me and my siblings too but mostly came back to them. if practice magic she was Sally Owens, this group of women who always want to do things a little bit right but always pull back into their past: closets full of dressing gowns, Laura Secord chocolates under the bed. Historical romances were piled crookedly in the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms.

if practice magic It was our life, my cousins ​​and I were extras. Also-rans. Women, our mothers were the main characters and their love was a true love story. They all had their own love stories, cursed and otherwise – good guys and bad guys and guys with a shadowy presence on the periphery. I’m sorry to tell them, but they were not the real issue. Just like us, their children, we weren’t always the important ones.

House!

This love for each other, that was the point. Hip in the kitchen, laughing. Slapping each other with a towel and yelling, “Stop, stop, you’re going to make me pee in my pants”. Their kids pull on coats and boots to walk in the snow without us. Heading to the market for a cinnamon roll and egg sandwich before waking up. Just so they can be alone together.

That was the lesson I learned best from them. Always loving the women in your life as if they mattered.

As kids we knew we weren’t the center of the universe and that was okay. We have enough love We got a lot. But there was something sacred about seeing the women in my life love each other like that.

my favorite scene Practical Magic It’s where Gillian is captured and Sally is forced to call home the women of the town to help save her. Every woman wants to be there more than anywhere else. They want to cast their spells and commune. They want to be together. I have no idea who takes care of the kids, but that doesn’t really matter. It’s the sisters that matter. And that’s a really important lesson. To model love for other women, let your children see and know this.

we are loved inside ourselves practice magic We saw the mess of a house, but more importantly, love. As kids we knew we weren’t the center of the universe and that was okay. We have enough love We got a lot. But it was okay to see that love so divided. There was something sacred about seeing the women in my life love each other this way.

Just like aunts practice magic, my aunts, mom and grandma taught us to love everything. Taking a nap with a fan blowing in our faces on a summer afternoon. for food. Be. Gossip, being naughty and celebrating each other.

It wasn’t perfect parenting. But it was absolutely magical.

book by Jen McGuire HOUSING, present now about raising her four sons and learning to live alone.