An hour before, Little CEO had lost her first tooth. At nearly seven and a half, it was a long time coming. Her joy and excitement uplifted me on an otherwise somber day of soon-to-be-laid-off-ed-ness.
We were sitting in her room, Little CEO chattering away about the note she wrote the tooth fairy.
Then she stopped, and looked directly into my eyes.
“I want to know the truth, Mom. Ever since I was old enough to think, I’ve felt it was you leaving the money when Boy Wonder lost a tooth. Please Mom, tell me the truth.”
My heart sank. She’s been quizzing me about Santa for at least 2 years. Why would the tooth fairy escape the same wicked scrutiny?
I said, “Let’s say I told you it was me. How would you feel?”
“Bad. Tell me the truth, Mom.”
I said, “What do you believe, Little CEO?”
“I believe that the tooth fairy is real.”
And I said, “What you believe is the truth.”
I walked the dog later that evening. The streets were dark, and I looked up to the sky. I was greeted by a lovely crescent moon and hundreds of twinkling stars.
And I asked myself:
Is the truth what we believe, or is what we believe the truth?
What power we would have if the truth is what we believed.
The truth is that many of us are smart, healthy women.
The truth is that we are capable, loving mothers.
The truth is that we are chicks with a lot to offer.
But most of the time, the truth is not what we believe.
What we believe is – or becomes - the truth. Every time we curse our sagging skin while watching a drop-dead gorgeous twenty year-old walk by, the skin sags a little more. We become older.
Every time we talk ourselves out of going for that killer job because we don’t think we’re good enough, we become less.We never get the job.
Every time we beat ourselves up for the Mom Fail Du Jour and call ourselves bad mothers, we suck a little harder. We become moms who are destined to keep failing.
Our very selves can’t bear the weight of our ugly beliefs – beliefs that shouldn’t be true, that shouldn’t be stored away in the quiet corners of our hearts . And the beliefs become truths – until one day, we find ourselves loathing more than loving. Doubting more than trusting. Resigned more than vigorous.
And I realize, looking up at the moon, that maybe the tooth fairy, or Santa or the Easter Bunny, isn’t just about growing up and getting some serious coin or presents.
Maybe it’s the first real point at which we can impart a very serious and powerful life imperative to our kids:
What you believe becomes the truth.
So kid, you better believe something fantastically good, something marvelously impossible or outrageously crazy about yourself today.
And maybe it’s a reminder for us, too. Because if ugly beliefs are becoming our truths…if our truth is that we are old, or unattractive, or a failure, or not good enough…our kids see it. Then, they model it.
So tonight, and every night hereafter, I’m going to tuck some positive beliefs under my pillow, go to sleep, and have the universe work its magic. Tomorrow, when dawn breaks, they will be truths. Good truths. My truth. My example for my daughter.
Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are of good report…if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8