It’s just a plastic rattle. Some bright colors and shiny beads that make a quiet noise when you shake it. It’s nothing I haven’t seen a million times before. But when I hold it up before her and shake it so the beads twinkle and make their quiet noise, her eyes brighten. She coos and giggles like greeting a long-lost friend and watches, rapt, as the rattle moves in front of her.
I picked up the rattle from a shelf at Target and idly showed it to my daughter as she fussed in the carrier on my chest. She really needed a nap, not a toy, but I had to keep shopping for a bit and wanted to distract her. As soon as I began shaking the little toy for her, she was mesmerized. Wide-eyes and grinning, she watched the rattle like it was a magic wand that appeared before her eyes.
And that’s what it is to her. It’s a magic wand that sparkles and shines. She’s still too little to reach for it herself so it’s up to me to hold it up to her face and let her watch the colors and hear the sounds of a timeless baby toy. She never tires of it. Each time she sees it, the magic returns anew and she is joyful at seeing it again. And each time I feel like I’ve given her something priceless.
That’s what motherhood is. It’s everyday magic. The alchemy that turns an object that is ordinary in your adult eyes into something miraculous to your baby. The chance to see the world through new eyes as you watch your child’s wonder at the world around her.
It may just be a plastic rattle. But to your baby, it’s magic.