Last night when we got home it was nearly dark and there was one bright star in the sky. When I went back outside to pick some honeysuckle, Noah came along and asked me to help him wish upon a star, so I said the words and he repeated after me:

Star light, star bright,
the first star I see tonight.
I wish I may, I wish I might
have the wish I wish tonight.

What did he wish for? His brother's broken game controller to be fixed. Sweet, sweet boy. For the past few days he'd been telling me that he was going to give a present to Jake: he was going to fix his controller. I hardly paid attention, since I knew that he couldn't do it. What I didn't know was that his plan was to wait for a star to wish on.

This morning first thing he raced upstairs to the playroom, then came back down looking miserable and bitter. I asked him what was wrong, and he said, barely holding back tears, that his wish hadn't come true. Oh no, I thought. I should have foreseen this. Of course he would take it literally. Of course he would really believe it. He's six years old.

He was inconsolable and wouldn't come to me. And what could I say that would make it better anyway? I sat next to him and told him the truth, that magic to alter material things doesn't exist, but that he could wish for something that we could help make come true.

The poem is really a prayer of intention to ourselves, not an incantation. Maybe, just maybe, the universe is listening too. I don't know. But tonight I want to remember to let him know this, then go outside to look for another star and make a wish together.