music / zoom

Puff the Magic Dragon: A Boy and His Dragon

My three year old son, who’s nickname around here is Zoom, loves dragons. I can’t say just when the fascination started, but it must have been a couple of years ago. It doesn’t completely surprise me that he loves the beasts, I too adored Elliot (Pete’s Dragon), and Puff.

Puff the Magic Dragon is a song that I strongly equate with childhood. We sang it at my house growing up. We sang it at summer camp, and later as a counselor at Kennolyn, we sang it with our campers around the campfire.

And so when Zoom was about a year old, I showed him a silly little video about Puff. And he loved it.

In Pacific Grove, California – Zoom and his Dragon!

This week, on the morning of first day of preschool, Zoom asked me to play the Puff video. We sat on his bed, watching. I sang along.

Zoom got so quiet. And I looked down and he was crying near the end of the song.

“What’s wrong,” I asked.

“Momma, what happened to Jackie Paper? They said he stopped coming to see Puff. Where he go,” he asked quietly.

“Jackie grew up, Zoom. He got to be a big boy and stopped playing with dragons,” I tried to explain.

“Momma, I never want that to happen to me. I always want to play with dragons,” he told me. And this last line tore at my heart and made me cry. “Momma, why are you crying?”

“Because I want you to always play with dragons, too,” I told him. And then we hugged and sang along and we were fine.

I’m grateful for this boy who loves his dragons, who can’t imagine a world without them. I’m grateful that he’s allowed me to remember so many of the things that I loved in childhood, and that he’s let me relive those moments again. And, I’m touched by this moment, on a morning before he goes off to his new big boy class, when he quietly tells me that he is a boy full of magic, of wonder, of light and goodness and love. And I’m grateful for every second that I get to spend with him and his dragons.