Saturday, December 12, 2009

Puff the Magic Dragon. A few years ago a book was written based on the song, "Puff the Magic Dragon". Along with the book was a CD with the song and a few other selections. I came across the book and CD today, and wanted to share the story with my grandchildren. I popped the CD in the player, and sat down with Maddison to read the book. About a fourth of the way through the book and song, I was so overcome with emotion that I couldn't finish. I was trying to hide my tears from Maddison and Mason when my husband came into the room. He could tell right away that something was wrong. Maddie and Mason noticed too that MiMi was suddenly sad. I am not sure they have ever seen me cry, so they were at a loss on how to act. Maddie patted my hand, and Mason gave me a hug. They couldn't have been more surprised by my tears than I was. I have been thinking about the reason for my emotion ever since.

As a child, I owned the 45 rpm version of Peter, Paul and Mary's "Puff the Magic Dragon". It was my absolute favorite song throughout my entire childhood. Even as a young child, the song made me sad. I would go to my room and play the song over and over and over again. The song is about a little boy, Jackie Paper, who had an imaginary dragon for a friend. They had lots of adventures together in a mysterious land called "Honalee". But one day, the little boy outgrew the imaginary dragon and "came no more." I remember feeling sad that Jackie Paper had outgrown the dragon and left him alone and sad. As a child, I had a strong desire to stay a child. I was not one of those children who anxiously awaited moving on to the next milestone or grade. I would grow sentimental when I thought about the time when I would leave home and the security and love of my parents and my home. Today, listening to the song and looking at the story come to life in a book, an avalanch of memories flooded my mind. In the last few months I have become increasingly sentimental about life and the purpose of our time on this earth. I think the fact that I turned 52 this fall, which was the same age my mother was when she died, has made me spend a great deal of time reflecting on life. I try to enjoy every day and the gifts the day provides. Having two precious grandchildren who will be grown and gone before I know it makes me want to squeeze each day and hold onto it just a little bit longer. I dread the day when "Jackie Paper comes no more". It will mark the end of a childhood and a life where imaginary playmates are gone and forgotten.

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