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Who's The Magic Parent?
After all, as Lisa Chase writes in this great essay for Elle, "Mothers become the no-sayers in the house, the keepers of the schedules, the tight ones, while the fathers get to swoop in after dinner and break the rules." In Chase's experience, her mother was forced to fill this role in extremis, as her father was a wild one—creative, fun, thrilling, "because of the brew of wild and blue inside him (which, in hindsight, was almost certainly a manic-depressive disorder)."
The essay is a must-read for Chase's father's wonderful wacky stunts (taking the kids on a round-trip flight one day just so they could experience flying first class!). She describes these crazy outings as "joyful, hilarious, subversive, often perplexing, always incredibly fun. I know that I should probably attribute them to a disintegrating marriage and the manic highs of bipolarity, but whatever the fuel, my dad had the gift of magical parenting." These antics may not have been any fun for this man's co-parent (and indeed, their marriage didn't last), but it's interesting that this man's daughter remembers her father's antics so fondly. Chase writes that remembering her father's zany magic has inspired her to try to be a more creative mother. We read a lot in the news about mentally imbalanced parents and how they damage their children, so how wonderful to remember that a little crazy can be fun, that a touch of parenting magic goes a long way.
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