Friday, September 14, 2012

The Real Mentalist

What have I got in common with Bono, Robin Williams and Ronnie Woods? Nothing at all....except a bit 'o' magic. Last weekend we had a work party at our house featuring Jay Alexander, a sort of real-life Mentalist. He entertains at Robin William's Thanksgiving dinner and Bono and the Rolling Stones regularly hire him for parties. Jay promised to combine magic, psychology, comedy and a "bit of the old flimflam."

Master magician Jay and me in our living room

Kids cleaning the backyard for the party (guess how this ended...)

Fifteen years of kids' parties has made me cynical about magicians. They're either really grumpy or their tricks so drawn out you cease caring.

But Jay was on another level. He guessed the names of our childhood friends. He asked Cy, 8, to bring a book out of his room and turn to any page. It was Harry Potter and Jay guessed the top line. He handed Tallulah a scroll which contained a number. It turned out to be the exact same number as someone else in the audience picked from a local phone book. He found someone's cell phone in a balloon. Blindfolded, he guessed the name anything held under his hand.

I was pretty gobsmacked for the rest of this week until I realised today, props, I too was an accomplished magician and mindreader.

Me the Mindreader:
I told Cy: "I know you bought a raspberry lollipop while I was at the coffee shop."
Cy shocked and impressed (and with sticky red stuff all over his face): "How? How did you know?!"

More Mindreading.....
Cy: "I was playing basketball today at school with this guy called Jasper...have you ever heard of that guy Jasper?"
Me: "Yes, I know Jasper."
Cy shocked and impressed: "How?"
Me: "Jasper's been in your class since you were two years old."

Every time I take Teddy - our fluffy Maltese 4lb puppy -  for a walk, he morphs into wild thang barking crazily at every big dog that passes our way. I feel kind of sorry for Teddy; he has the heart of a lion and the body of a bunny.

Time Travel:
Finally, finally, all the kids were back at school this week.

Off to school

Baby Harley, 15 years ago in Kensington Park, London

And Harley turned 15. How did that happen? How did we get through those years? Magic - and not. All those hours and hours at the park - both London and here - pushing him on the swings, crouching at the bottom of the slide, toe-to-tiny toe in the sandbox, holding him back when he wanted to swim with the "big duckssss." Our t-shirts were always smudged with his tears and giggles and howls and gurgles. We longed for sleep like we used to long for banana cake with chocolate icing. Those back-bending years spent swooping and scooping and folding him against us, his skin smelling sweeter than a nectarine.

Now he's never around and when he is, he's loping over our heads or sleeping in till noon. And yet he's still the same. The very same little guy who crawled in with the swans.


  1. Yes you are magic.

  2. How wonderful to have him at your party I love things like that - and yes family life is magic, often infuriating, but magic all the same.

  3. Being a child and having/raising children must be two of the most magical things in this world!

  4. delicious....
    um, i call peeping tom on that jay the magician....he has that sort of "have you seen this man?" flyer look to him...if you ask me.
    i'd crank those windows just a little tighter tonight if you ask me.

  5. First--- I am terribly jealous of this magician business. I have never had an impressive magical experience.

    Second--- I love the magic that you've discovered at home. This has me wildly impressed....

  6. What a fun party! (and to be added to the celeb clientele list too! haha) Great memories too.

  7. What fun! We had a magician come for my eldest's 12th birthday-not a kiddie magician, but perfect for all ages. It was a hoot-he was great and now is touring with Cirque in Europe. I'd hire him for my birthday in a minute! Fun stuff!!

  8. What a fun party -- you always have the best parties! I love, love, love magic. I am a true believer. My son tries to figure out the "trick", but I love sitting back and just enjoying the show! Watching kids grow is its own form of magic too. Or maybe, it's just magical. The pic of Harley and the swans certain captured a magic moment!!

  9. What a fun party. I always want to know how they do the tricks - what a shame they won't just let us in on a couple of secrets!

  10. KIds. School. Growing up. Yup; those things are all happening.

    An entertainer who works for other big entertainers? And does a phenomenal job? Awesome! (Expensive!)

  11. Aww, this is very sweet Jody. Love that about Harley. They just grow up too fast. Yet, I loved the baby days. Sometimes when my high schooler is asleep, I still see that baby face!!

    That magician sounds very cool. My kids would love that. You are so right about mom's being able to see things...:) Cy sounds so cute.


  12. I think your magician Jay has a touch of the Adam Sandler about him. And he sounds like an awesome magician - better than disappearing hanky tricks tenfold. But I would say your magic is better than his magic.

  13. Magicians who perform at children's gathering have very good sense of humor. I think that's part of their persona.

    Mothers are good magicians. You explained it very well. My wife will say it.

    Baby Harley plays with the ducks-very nice photo.

  14. I know exactly what you mean about your teenage boy, who sleeps til noon, but is still the baby you used to protect and hold fiercely.

    I used to be in the magic circle when I was little. My brother and I used to do some tricks. Reading about this guy's skills, we were wise to give it up!

  15. How do you make me feel like I've taken part in a little bit of your family life?! It made me smile. Thanks :)

  16. I would laugh at the Mentlist's actions, just before I took a 6 pound club hammer to his knees. Some people are just to much of a smartasss to survive.

    Think of the poor teachers, accepting your brood back into the nightmare they call a class.

    Kick teddy. Gently, but kick him. It worked for our Samo.

  17. Oh it is magic! Sometimes positively black magic other times almost Cinderella like!

  18. I'd like to go to one of your parties!! And you're so right about how quickly our children grow up and yet how in so many ways, they are still the little babies we remember from their first years. Lovely post

  19. Awww Happy Birthday to Harley. What sweet words you said about your baby boy! I know he's still your baby,LOL. They always will be.
    I love the photo of the kids cleaning for the party, I can only imagine how they did!
    That sounded like a fun party!
    Love Di ♥

  20. Sounds like a fabulous magician and fun!! The kids grow so fast:I am laughing at your son rising at noon, one of mine rarely appeared before 2pm most days!!

  21. Your magician sounds fab - a bit like Derren Brown perhaps? Where do those years go to? Mine are 20 and 17 now and I swear they were in nappies last week!

  22. Where does the time go, right? .. and life is full of those magic moments! My kids are 21 and 23. Sometimes I can't believe they were ever infants! Great story Jody and sounds like the party was a success!

  23. What a sweet way to remember your little boy errr...big Harley. How does this mentalist guy do it?!!

  24. wow, he's amazing! i would probably be in awe of him if i met him in real life -- i am always so amazed at patrick jane's talent! i love the mentalist! ;)

    <3, Mimi
    Spirit Ink Tattoos Giveaway
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  25. How amazing to have such a mind-blowing mentalist at a party. The kids must have been really impressed, I know I am just hearing about it.

    Congrats on your son to making it to 15. Funny how I can remember mine as sweet little babies but then the middle years just morph into one image of stuff.

  26. That photo on The Serpentine is lovely. 15 seems terribly grown up. I hope I can keep mine alive that long. It's probably an even money bet

  27. Wait till he goes to Uni. I mourned for three weeks and used to it in his bedroom all teary. They seem suddenly to change from fiends into your most desireable companion.
    Now sometimes I feel he is the Dad.

  28. Sniff, sob! So touching about your 15 year old! I love the show the Mentalist and am fascinated by the real life one that came to your house. That sounds soooo cool! Glad it was a good time.

  29. I agree you seem to blink and they are teenager just wait til they go to college lie ins last ll day

  30. I love that you are every bit as talented as your mentalist! And Harley is 15! Wow, it's the sweetest recap of his 15 years from a mom ever.

    xo Mary Jo

  31. How fun that must have been. I love that sort of thing. Once at a restaurant in Niagara Falls a magician managed to take a ring off my finger and put it on my keychain, all without me having an inkling it had happened. I think you may have a second career as a mentalist if you give up writing:)

  32. Haha you're so funny! Sounds like quite the party. I would be beyond blown away. I'm very gullible though so I don't know how much that speaks to anyone's talent as a magician. I'd believe almost anything really.

    Happy bday to Harley. Must be so amazing to watch them grown :) xoox

  33. Great post. Happy Birthday to Harley. Time really does fly, doesn't it?

  34. Sounds like an interesting weekend! Happy Birthday to Harley! xo style, she wrote

  35. I have to move to the west coast so I can crash one of your parties. You always have the best ones! Yes...they grow up fast and it sounds like Harley is a typical 15 year old boy. Boys stay snuggly with their moms longer than girls but then the girls come back around and the boys eventually fly off.

  36. This is both a hysterical and a poignant post. Your description of your daily life is insanely hilarious. Kids grow so fast. I guess it's what our parents used to tell others about us. It won't be all that long before mine's a teenager. Sigh...

  37. Watching Jay perform is always a treat. Glad your group was able to experience the magic and wonderment he can offer.


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