Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Little Early Christmas

My daughter is 7.  Her brain runs down rabbit holes of thought so quickly, keeping her the age she is remains a constant challenge. 

This morning upon finding a dollar under her pillow, she starts. "Mom, Did God create fairies?"  Before I can answer and believe me, I'm stalling, hoping for inspiration, my other daughter (5) responds.  "Of course God made the fairies. Some of them have wings and some of them don't."she answers authoritatively.  She is satisfied with her sister's explanation.  

"Is there such a thing as Pixie dust?" she asks.
"That's an invention of Disney." I smile.

"Yeah, I thought so."  She packs her dollar in her purse, along with three quarters so she can buy  donuts. 

At mass, she turns to me during a song, "Is Rudolph real? Is Santa real? Some kids in my class say he isn't." She's in first grade. I'm not ready to burst any child's imagination, nor do I want this conversation in mass.  I don't want her joy removed for the sake of truth she cannot yet digest.   So I whisper, "Christmas is real. Jesus is real. He was born in the stable to Mary, with the angels singing, and the three kings bringing gifts.  All of that is real. Saint Nicholas is real. He was a generous man and a saint who brought people to know Christ, who made Christmas something that we celebrate with gifts and joy and wonderfulness every year." and give her a hug. She nods her head.

"But deer don't fly." she says. "And they don't have red noses."
"That's the song and a cartoon." I answer. "Regular deer have regular noses."
"That makes sense." she agrees. 

She is satisfied, but I know the question will pop up again.  So I fret.  Will the sparkle in her eyes be snuffed prematurely by those around her?  While I've never fed them the myth of Santa Claus, it has become known, if only through the Night Before Christmas and all the stories and films that inundate the season. 

The readings for today are not the Widow giving of her need, even though those are scheduled. We are celebrating the feast of our patron Saint, Saint Martin.  She hears the story of the soldier giving half of his cloak to the beggar and the dream of Christ saying, "Look what Martin has given me."  as he holds the half given to the poor freezing man. 

When it is time for the collection, she reaches into her purse.  I'm shocked to see the newly acquired dollar being placed in the basket with nary a moment of thought.  She has a generous heart.  She has a generous spirit.  I think back to every food drive and how she wants to bring ten cans each day.  She holds the true spirit of the season yet to come in her heart.  The widow's mite is in her heart too. 

"Can we have donuts after mass?" she asks when she realizes she's given away what she planned to spend.

"Will there always be donuts after mass?" she asks.

"There will always be something good on Sunday." I answer. 
Taking my dollar and running to stand in line, she says, "I hope it always has frosting and sprinkles."

Me too. 


Cathy said...

That is so precious. As I rock my Annabel to sleep tonight I was reading as tears roll down my cheeks. I just wish the precious innocence could last much longer! Thank you for shaing.

maria mcclure said...

So beautiful, Sherry. I love your 7 year old dearly.

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