not a trace of doubt in my mind...
"the only thing in this world i don't believe in is leprechauns" the oldest, so wise and still so beautifully naive, confessed to me yesterday. out of the blue, he laid down his life's gauntlet.
"why just leprechauns?" i replied, not really wanting to take on this challenge because, well, there's so much more not to believe in when you've passed the age of nine.
"because," he replied simply "who really believes little men run around rainbows with buckets of gold?"
which is why i kept my mouth shut about bigfoot, santa claus, the tooth fairy, space aliens, unicorns and the sense he has that i am perfect and all-knowing.
his commitment to his personal beliefs got me thinking about the things i believe in. of late i've been discouraged by the many things i've been having difficulty accepting (are you there god? it's me, d.) versus those i subscribe to. i don't know if my list is oversimplified or naive, nor do i know if it's solid for me from day to day. i do believe my jaded nature clouds some things (yeah, that would be god i'm talking about, for starters, followed by 'is tomorrow really such a better day?').
what i have tried to commit myself to includes:
- accepting and cultivating the talents that lie within. i hesitate calling myself a writer because it sounds grandiose, but if i can write, then why not try? if you're good at something, why shy away from it rather than nurture it?
- knowing that nurturing something means accepting failure as an option (be it writing, raising children or sustaining a relationship), and that standing up and trying again in the face of criticism has to be done.
- holding onto a bit of the mystery. i think we lose ourselves when we're forced to accept all the harshness reality can have in store for us. i don't want to know the answers to all life's unknown, real or not. it's too daunting and not as fun.
- that it's ok to get angry, and even more ok not to apologize for things that aren't your fault.
- being kind to the wait staff and tipping well.
it's not a hard list, necessarily. i do believe the things i don't believe in are far greater, though. for example, i can't freaking believe that "how the grinch stole christmas" was on tv this weekend. it's barely november, for god's (if i could really believe in him) sake!
i think what i like most about the list is holding onto the bit of unknown. maybe it's ok to think that our abilities or talents can be credited to something greater than us (even though i question the reality of god, i've been known to thank him a time or two), or there really is a santa claus. he just has you doing his dirty work at toys 'r us some hectic saturday afternoon in mid-december.
i believe i'll keep telling myself that, anyway, if for no other reason than the fact that my son still believes in santa claus. and believe me, that, among other things, makes me as happy as a lephrechaun.