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…the Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus.

I have always loved the idea of a magical being, one who knows where you live, when you lose a tooth, or what you want under the tree.
I loved waking up on Easter , anticipating there would be a basket by my bed, filled with goodies, green cellophane grass cradling chocolate bunnies and foil wrapped chocolate eggs. The ritual of dying hard boiled eggs and then decorating them was looked forward to each year…the kitchen table covered with bowls of spring colored dyes, decals scattered around the table, with me, my mom and dad, “creating” oval beauties. The most fun was the traditional Easter egg hunt in the backyard. My dad would never tire of hiding the eggs, often in plain sight, and I never tired of trying to find all of them. Over and over, he would hide and I would seek.
I was devastated in third grade when my best friend told me that there was no Santa Claus. Running home with tears rolling down my cheeks, I pleaded with my parents to say she was lying. I was so angry with her. Why did she have to spoil everything? I wanted to believe in the fairy tale of life.
Perhaps being an only child, moving from oil field town to to field town literally every year, being alone so much of my growing up years, created my need to believe in something sweet and dear and beautiful. There is a part of me that still would like to wake up Christmas morning to a gift that no one knows anything about, proof that there really is a Santa and eight tiny reindeer!
I never asked what the Tooth Fairy could possibly want with all those baby teeth! Kinda’ creepy, when you think about that.
Obviously, I was desperate to have something to believe in, something outside my human experience, something to trust in, depend upon, be comforted by. So why is faith in God so difficult for me? Intellectually, I know this comes from my mother and her struggle with faith, feeling she wasn’t worthy of God’s love. I’m grown now, and you’d think I would have been able to jettison the parental memes and fears by this time.
There’s a song in the movie Gypsy (about Gypsy Rose Lee, the quintessence of a stripper), “You Gotta Have a Gimmick.” Maybe that’s what God needs to speak to me… maybe gift bags, or a big “I’m Number One” hand in purple and gold, or a pimped up ride, driven by angels, running lights flashing and harp music blaring.
Maybe, as Bertrand Russell, said, I need to have faith because I have nothing to lose either way: if there is a loving God and I have tried to live a good life, I will be ‘rewarded in heaven’…if there is no God and I have lived a good life, well, then I have lived a good, honorable life. I win either way.
Or maybe I need to understand that every time I have said things would be alright, something would work out, that I’d be okay…and they did and I was…that God was in the mix.
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