Want to See a Magic Trick?

Shane had a hugely successful debut yesterday as a magician. It was Chapala’s “Magic Sunday” – a local restaurant’s way to promote the magic community. Once a year, kids run the whole show.

Shane was recruited to do some “close-up” magic – which, in magician’s terms, means any trick that you can do standing next to a small group of people. Card tricks are a favorite in this category.

Shane walked around the room in his black cape and top hat, his pockets stuffed full of cards and coins and such. He went from table to table – friends, family, strangers, and some professional magicians – and performed beautifully.

When Shane was in preschool, we were alerted that he might have a social issue when he spent his entire playtime lying on the floor with his head inside a dollhouse.

Like an ostrich in the sand.

Since that time, I’ve been more conscious in my attempt to discover Shane’s passions. Unlike Dylan, who likes everything and is eager to explore, Shane has always been very cautious in selecting an interest.

So when he was 8 and asked for a magic kit, we handed over Dylan’s old, unused one, allowing Shane to try out the idea. When I was a kid, I had a magic kit and got bored after a couple of weeks. But Shane studied the tricks for months and learned how to do them.

Then he started reading magic trick books. Every few hours, he would say, “Want to see a magic trick?” Then he would try his (often unpracticed) trick on me.

I got to see a lot of tricks.

By age 9, he performed a short show at a home for seniors. Dylan sang songs, and Shane did a “halftime” show.

And now, at age 10, he just finished magic camp, and I’ve seen at least half a dozen magic shows in the past three months. And now he’s performed close-up magic for an hour – and even did a brief stage show – at the biggest magician’s gathering spot in the area.

Over the past few years, I’ve met a lot of amateur and professional magicians. None of them are “mainstream” folks. They have a social rhythm that seems to be a step around the rest of society.

They are generally quiet, for example, which I didn’t expect from a group of showmen. They’re all a bit shy. A handful even have severe social challenges when holding regular conversations. They are all fairly serious.

Then they get on stage and become very funny – or at least, fascinating. I’ve learned that magicians communicate best through tricks.

These men – almost all of them are male – have been doing magic since they were Shane’s age, and still love it. They are all, still, totally obsessed.

And Shane fits right in.

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