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Bread, fish and pickles.

February 4, 2009

You know those conversations that start out benign enough and turn into something deep and meaningful? Yes? Well, John and I had just such an exchange this morning in the car on the way to preschool after dropping Elizabeth off at school.

John: (in the backseat making shapes with his hands to entertain the baby) “This looks like Santa’s bag, Mama.”

Me: (trying to drive semi-undistracted while slamming down my to-go cup of coffee & peering at John in the rear-view mirror) “mmmhmmm, it does.”

John: “How does Santa have enough room in his bag for all the toys? It’s not big enough for everyone’s toys. He has to go all around the whooolllle world!”

Me: “I don’t know honey. Maybe it’s magical.”

John: “Yes. In fact (his favorite phrase right now), I think it IS magical.”

Me: (thinking- why isn’t my coffee hotter? this cup is supposed to be INSULATED.) “Ok.”

Pause…

John: “Mama? How is it magical?”

Me: “Oh honey, I don’t know.”

Pause…

Me: (realizing this conversation just isn’t going to go away, I attempt to further explain in a way my son will be satisfied and drop the subject… my coffee’s getting cold for pete’s sake!) “Maybe Santa’s bag is like Mary Poppins’ bag. Remember how she pulls things out of her bag in the movie? A lamp, a mirror… It just never seems to be empty. Maybe Santa’s got a similar thing going on with his bag. What do you think?”

John: “Yeah! In fact, I think you’re right!”

Now, here’s where it gets interesting -if you’re still with me at this point, and haven’t glazed over and clicked away from my blog then, good for you, thanks, and way to stick with it…

I realize that at some point in the future my son (and daughter and other son) will come to know that Santa (and Mary Poppins for that matter) are NOT REAL. They will also realize that magic is simply slight of hand and that, unfortunate as it may be, a never-ending bag of gifts is simply a lovely made-up thought.
However. There IS something that IS never-ending and, not magical, but miraculous that I DO want them to believe and KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt. And that is God’s love and care for us. Plus, I don’t want them to think that we’re going to pull a “Santa” on them and suddenly say- “Oh, that Jesus thing? Yeah. Sorry about that!”
So… I go there. In the car, rushing to preschool, drinking coffee like the addict that I am, hoping the baby doesn’t start crying because I know he’s getting hungry since my milk just let-down… Yes, folks I went there.

Me: “You know, maybe that’s magic- Santa’s and Mary Poppins’ bags; but you know what isn’t magic?”

John: “What’s that, mama”

Me: “God’s love for us. And God always taking care of us and giving us what we need.”

John: “Santa didn’t bring me everything I wanted.”

Me: “Yes, but God will always bring us what we need. Remember the story about Jesus and the loaves and the fish? And how there wasn’t enough food for all the people who came to listen to Jesus? But, He took what the disciples found and was able to feed ALL the people and even had leftovers?”

John: “Yeah. ‘Cause it was too far for the people to walk to get home for dinner and they were hungry… Can we go out for lunch after school? But I don’t want fish and bread. Maybe a cheeseburger with extra pickles!!”

Me: (seeing that this is REALLY sinking in -ha ha- I choose to continue to GO THERE and make certain that my son is making the connection I want him to make -why, people, why??) “I don’t know about going out for lunch John, but do you understand that God was able to take care of ALL those people because Jesus had FAITH that God would provide what they needed?”

John: “Oh yeah. So God made enough fishes and bread for them. God is good, huh Mama? I like God.”

Pause.

John: “I really like pickles too.”

Me: (seeing that this is simply as good as it’s going to get at this particular moment, speeding off to preschool, me drinking coffee, my sweet boys in the backseat contemplating hands and God and Santa; I finally LET IT GO) “Yeah. I like God and pickles too, honey.”

Side note: We made it to school on time, I finished my coffee before it got cold, the baby stayed happy all the way home, and we settled in for a lovely, quiet nursing session while I contemplated how wonderful my children truly are, thanked God for this morning, and giggled about my funny four year old boy.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Tracy permalink
    February 14, 2009 2:02 pm

    This story brought tears to my eyes. Anne, I love how you “went there”. What a great foundation for John and the rest of your little ones.

    I love reading your blogs and seeing all your pictures. I can’t believe how big all the kids are. We love and miss you all. One of these days we’ll meet face to face :-)

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