This morning, on the way to work, I rehearsed a pretend conversation with my son about the existance of God. I do this sometimes. I talk to myself and practise how I'd like a discussion to go down. I often do it in the car. Sometimes I play out a strongly worded letter I'd like to write to the company whose piece of junk food processor broke after just three years. Sometimes I even have these conversations in french.
Anyway, this morning, Cole DIDN'T ask me what God is. He was making demands about Christmas presents. And I realized that the kid has no idea about the real meaning of Christmas. After that idea flitted through my gray matter, I immediately realized I wasn't sure what I should be telling him is the real meaning of Christmas. I sat him on the red stool in the bathroom, and as I brushed his teeth, I mentioned how it's more fun to give than to get presents. He looked at me like I was the stupidest person alive. And I mentioned how it's so wonderful to sing songs and visit with family. And then I explained about the man who lived a long time ago named Jesus whose birthday is on Christmas. And I said that some people even believe Jesus was the Son of God. And Cole shrugged in an indifferent kind of way and I kind of left it at that.
We don't go to church. We're not religious. But I felt like it was kind of my obligation to let my son know what lots and lots of people believe and let him make his own decisions somewhere down the road. And besides, I'm not raising the only kid who has no idea about Noah's Ark or the Ten Commandments, even if we don't go to church. And although I'm not really exactly sure what I believe, I did find myself tearing up a bit in the car when the Christmas radio station played Go Tell it On the Mountain. Come to think of it, that was probably the catalyst. For my strangely animated discussion with my dashboard about a Greater Being.
So even though Cole hasn't asked yet. I imagined myself providing him with an explanation as simple as, "Well, Son. God is invisible. So it's hard to know. But I think God is all the good in the world. And every time someone does something that is right and good, that's God. And it gives us Hope."
In the afternoon, I got a phone call from a friend. She's had the most hellish week. She found a lump in her breast and had an ultrasound and mammogram. The waiting has been difficult times forty million. She's been having nightmares. She's been trying not to appear worried in front of her kids. And despite my uncertainty about a definitive Higher Power, I found myself telling her that maybe we'll look back on this as a test of Faith. Then today, she finally, finally, FINALLY heard back from the doctors. And when she told me the news over the phone I think I might have cried for a second. Then I laughed and glanced upwards and thought, "Thank You, whoever you are."