On Chaos and Magic

Nov 15 2011

A group of geese is called a gaggle. Elephants run in a herd. Crows are the perfect Halloween family because they live together as a murder.  I know Halloween is over, but I’ve documented my inability to keep holidays separate, and, besides, it’s… muuuuuurrrrr-dddeerrrrr. I’m not sure why I can’t say that word any other way; I try, and then I fail. Muuuuuurrrr-dddeerrrrr. It makes crow migration season a real bear for my kids. On the up side, they never miss crow migration season.  Look, kids!  It’s a muuuurrrr-dddeerrrrr.

Sorry.  Anyway,…

Hummingbird families are called a charm. Isn’t that darling? And wouldn’t it be nice to be a lark and live in an exaltation? That sounds lovely. I’ll bet hummingbirds and larks go to the spa together, have immaculate hair, and never, ever auspuff at the grocery store and try to pass it off as squeaky shoes.

As for our family, well, we’re a chaos.  That’s right.  We’re a chaos of Woolseys.

Now, we could have stolen our name from mice and become a mischief.  Or, really, an obstinancy or a clutter, like buffalo or cats, would have worked nicely. But a long time ago, a divinely inspired friend labeled us a chaos, and, hey, when the shoe fits, right?  (Also, another friend calls our house The Shoe. What can I say? I have extremely brilliant friends.)

To tell the truth, our chaos sometimes reaches overwhelming proportions.  Most of the time, we roll with it.  Most of the time, we know when to say “no” to the myriad things that pull us in a thousand directions.  But some of the time, we have, oh, say, parent/teacher conferences at four schools for five kids to fit into two days; two days already full with school, work, dance, karate, youth group, allergy shots, and homework.  And, you’ll never believe it, but the state also expects us to feed and clothe our children every single day — even on parent/teacher conference days.  And on those days, I feel the strain, wondering, like I’m wont to do when I’m overwhelmed with chaos, whether I’ve bitten off more than I can chew with this crazy, beautiful life.

My preschoolers and I were riding home from school today when Cael asked me this:

“Mama, does chaos mean magic?”

Do you ever have Breathe Deep moments?  Those seconds of time when something – or someone – stops you in your tracks? When you can almost see the fresh air you didn’t expect but so badly needed?

Do you ever find that the equal and opposite force that acts upon the chaos is understanding?

“Mama, does chaos mean magic?”

Oh, baby boy.


Yes, it does.  For our family, chaos means magic.  I just need the reminder, every now and then, to look up from my task list so I can see the pixie dust.

I guess we are, after all, a Charm of Woolseys.  And a Mischief of Woolseys. An Exaltation and an Obstinancy.  A Clutter and a Chaos.

And we’re also a Magic.  A Magic of Woolseys.

The Mama of Chaos