Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tonight Joanna I were out after work the cold light of the full moon after work, waiting for KK's ballet class to end. It was a special time - unhurried because class wouldn't end til it ended. Joanna started talking about the reasons she believes and wants her children to believe in the mysteries of Christmas and St. Nicholas. She wants them to feel that they can offer up prayers and wishes and that some good and loving entity will care and make an effort to grant their wishes.She wants them to feel magic and mystery in the world always, and especially this time of year as the days shorten. She spoke with great intensity and love for her children and with the kind of belief in Christmas mysteries that I feel around the presence of tree spirits and fairies in the wood - a childlike belief rich with hope, but also aware of every day reality. I can't put all she said into words, but it touched me. I believe in mysteries too, though a different set.Then KK came out of class straight into her mother's arms - tall beautifully shaped little dancer carried to the car nuzzling with mommy - so little and so big. The big ballerina at the desk, monitoring the coming and going of the dance students grinned when Joanna lifted KK - just a moment of tenderness and connection. And then we got to show KK the moon which she said was so bright she thought it was a light, then a crescent peaking out from behind the clouds.

When I got home I found out in a message from an HCC friend that it is St. Nicholas day. It was sweet that Joanna shared her particular mysteries with me on the night of the saint of whom she was speaking. I'll have to ask her in the morning if she was aware it was his day.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Sounds like a magical night. I'm glad you got to have it.

Did Joanna talk about why it was important for the kids to believe that the loving and providing entity is not her parent's or family? Or what will happen when they find out that Santa doesn't exist? I'm interested.

On the one hand I can see a child being moved that a parent went to all that trouble to give them the magic and even gave up the credit. And then the child becomes even more grateful to the parent. On the other hand I wonder about children who begin to feel lied to or misled... or to believe that people are behind all the magic (Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy... why not God too?)

And I know many people's belief grows for a belief in a Santa ENTITY to a Santa spirit that overtakes us all.... but then why is it important for it to be Santa? And isn't that potentially damaging? To label our gererous impulse as somethign other than human? Doesn't that amount to saying that it is not a human impulse to give and greate magic moments? And, if so, is that a helpful message?

I write all this and I am trying to think through the other side... so I think what do I think about tree fairies and the magic of winter... because I DO believe this time of year is magical. But what words will I use for my kids? And do they have the same problems? It's something for me to think about I guess.