I recently had a ‘moment’ of clarity and it made me think two things: this will make a good column and I wonder if others experience this.
Confession - typically this is how I approach my dedication to this ‘Mommy Musings’ column business. First I hope it is read. Then, I hope that maybe in the gist of all my rambling and foolishness, there may be one sentence of thought that resonates with a reader.
After reading one of my columns a reader shared she now enters the drop off zone of her child’s school on the ‘look out’ for a mom in pink running shorts. Admittedly, it made me giggle and then it made me proud. This mom shared that particular column hit a chord with her and the image of me in my running shorts, now serves as her reminder. That’s good stuff.
So, back to my ‘moment.’
Earlier this month holiday craziness began to fill the stream on my personal Facebook page. Tales of shopping success and my personal favorite… the decorating became the focus for the better part of every post (Thanksgiving weekend). In all honesty, I enjoyed it. Christmas trees, Santa and snowmen collections, as well as outfitted mantles became the steady stream of photos as they popped up on my page.
Then… randomly… among the stream of pictures came a simple glittery red sign which read “Believe.” Admittedly, this is not the first holiday season that I have seen this holiday décor. On this particular day, however, it struck me differently than ever before.
I try and maintain a practice of not delving into religion or politics in my column. It is ‘Mommy Musings’ after all and I can muse plenty without including the powers that be (be it political or religious).
During seasons past I always read this as a ‘religious’ statement (although I recognize for many it is about Santa). In the past it’s a statement which I would envision one might find at a home next to ‘He’s the reason for the season,’ or something along those lines.
Now, all these years later I saw one simple seven letter word with so much meaning. Maybe it has to do with being in mommy head. Explaining things in ways you might have once thought unconventional. Maybe my mind has been expanded by a change in life circumstances. Or, maybe I just now ‘believe’ in a way that makes everything different.
As I pondered the word and its mass meaning I thought of the obvious (other than the religious), Santa Claus.
Yes, I believe in Santa Claus. I believe in the Spirit of Giving and the kindness of man. Some might call it a character flaw; I choose to call it a blessing.
I did go through a brief period where I was a non-believer of the man in the red suit. Until the year I saw him through the eyes of my Aunt (my mother’s sister) who had special needs. Aunt Elaine was the ‘light’ of our family. She taught me of the magic and the simplest things in life which so many take for granted. She did all of this not by lecturing me, or addressing me as a lost twenty-something. The lessons I learned from her came simply from watching her live. She… believed. As a result of that, so too did I.
So, this year… when I read that word, here are just a few things which came to mind.
There is more good among us than evil. Children are blessings, delivered to us to help us grow (and not the reverse). There is a plan and a path for each of us. Hardships are blessings in disguise. The spirit of giving does not have to revolve around items or things. The Spirit of Christmas does not have to be solely about one religious belief. A dreidel can hold just as much magic and memories as a stocking or a tree.
Lastly, I believe life is indeed too short. Even for the 100-year-old who passes on with a bucket list still missing check marks.
So… blessings and good tidings to all our readers. May this holiday season hold more for you in the way of memories than things. Things can be replaced; memories last well beyond our time here on earth. Yep… That I do… Believe.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.