"There is a prayer which especially in our times would be so apt: ‘God in heaven, I thank you for not requiring a person to comprehend Christianity, for if it were required, then I would be of all men the most miserable. The more I seek to comprehend it, the more I discover merely the possibility of offense. Therefore, I thank you for requiring only faith and I pray you will continue to increase it." --Søren Kierkegaard
"...doubt is conquered by faith, just as it is faith which has brought doubt into the world". --Kierkegaard
"Mom, is Santa real?" Lily asked me on the way home from picking up Madeline.
Long pause as I contemplated asking her to define real.
"Well, what do you think?" I asked back.
"Of course he is real," Matt interrupted. (Matt is the child we take home a few days a week as part of our carpool. Name has been changed for privacy.)
"Uh, how do you know?" Madeline asked. "Maybe it is just your mommy and daddy giving you presents." I cringed. Is the gig really up this early? Gulp.
Matt came to the rescue. "I know...because, um uh, last year we went to my grandma and grandpa's cabin and, um when we got back there were presents in our house from Santa!"
"Maybe your neighbor left them there," Madeline suggested. Seriously kid?! What gives?
"Yeah, maybe my neighbor IS Santa!" he said excitedly. Oh gee, this is not going well.
"Mom, I don't know if Santa is real or not," Madeline said, pointedly.
"Well, you better figure it out because I am guessing Santa won't waste his time at our house anymore if you don't believe in him," I said.
"Moooom, I do believe in Santa," she said. "I just don't know if he is real."
But you know? For a five year old, that's pretty deep. While I am not going to start calling her Kierkegaard just yet, I have to admit, that she has pinpointed faith in a tiny nutshell for a lot of people. Then again, we were talking about Santa....
And then there is Lily....
On the way to church this morning, all was quiet when Lily confidently spoke up.
"You know mom, I believe in Santa and God AND the Tooth Fairy." (Probably in that order, too....)
And just so ya'll know, I took it as words of affirmation in a parenting job well-done....after all, I am in fact two of those figures and that is not as easy as it seems. Why, just the other night I almost totally blew it on one of them when Madeline lost her first tooth around 7:30 p.m. It was bedtime and she brushed the thing right out of her mouth.
"MOOOOOOM! MY TOOTH JUST FELL OUT! MOOOOOOOM!" she screamed wildly as we all went running up to see.
Now typically, this would not be a problem, but Kurt was out of town all weekend and I had no cash on me, well, not the right amount for a first tooth anyway. And I wasn't about to rush 4 kids out to get change for a $20 bill. I thought about calling a neighbor for some help but instead decided to wait until they were all asleep and then go see if any of their piggy banks had the money in it. (Ok, throw me out of the running for parent of the year here but in my defense, I would have paid it back later!) Liam only had a $20 bill (why in the world would my TWO YEAR OLD have a $20 bill? I don't know and if you ask him, he won't be able to tell you either!) Aidan had the $5 I was looking for but it was the only. bill. he. had. left.....meaning, I couldn't really take it because if by chance he decided to count his money in comparison when Madeline ran around showing what the Tooth Fairy brought her, he'd realize it was gone and probably figure me out. Lily's piggy bank yells when messed with (dang Money Monster!) so I didn't bother with hers and Madeline had everything BUT a $5 bill in it. Of course.
It was then getting late so I rummaged through my closet, looking for bills that I may have left in any of my pants pockets. The only thing I found was a ten. It would have to do. (Just in case Aidan asked, I came up with a good reason why Madeline's first tooth made her $5 more than his: because the Tooth Fairy likes Madeline better....kidding! I would have told him that the Tooth Fairy loves EXTRA clean teeth and since Madeline had been brushing hers when it fell out leaving it sparkly white, the Tooth Fairy probably felt it was worth just a little more....what can I say, they taught us about the BIG LIE theory in middle school and I guess it just stuck.)
At any rate, as the Tooth Fairy was quietly sneaking back into the girls room to retrieve the tooth and place the money under Madeline's pillow, the snoring Lily popped her eyes wide open and looked straight at me. I froze.
"What are you doing?" she asked, more asleep than not.
"Just checking on you," I said while stealthily sticking the bill in my pocket.
"Can you get me some water?" she asked.
"Why, of course," I said. Phew, that was a close one.
She was asleep when I got back and the trade went off as planned. It does make one ponder: Who came up with this idea anyhow? And why do so many of us go along with it?!
Forget the chickens. I believe there is something totally awesome right over that cliff....I just don't know if it is real. And that, my dear readers, is Graceful...Like a Lemming.
Have a great week! :)
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