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Feb 01 2015

HOW BECOMING WONDER WOMAN TAUGHT ME ABOUT FAITH

I never imagined that pretending to be Wonder Woman for my son would teach me a lesson about faith in God, but it did.

Image courtesy of Dan Colcer at FreeImages.com

A young child will believe just about anything. I believe this is one of the reasons Jesus loves them so much. Faith is not hard for them. Wide-eyed and full of wonder, they take people at their word. They’re not yet jaded like you and I are. If Mommy or Daddy says something, they believe it. Even when the claim is outlandish, they can be easily convinced. I know this because, in my son’s eyes, I am Wonder Woman.

And I don’t mean in the metaphorical sense. I mean I am THE Wonder Woman.

The path to my super hero status started with the usual; I told him I have eyes in the back of my head. He was four at the time, young enough to be gullible but shrewd enough to challenge me. He checked the back of my head, so I explained that they are invisible to children. It didn’t take much to convince him I had this extra set of eyes when I was able to prove it by knowing some of the simple things moms just always know (and kids never understand how). He sincerely believed I had actual eyes in the back of my head. I didn’t realize it that night, but the journey toward becoming Wonder Woman had just begun.

One day Z’s dad told me that he had suggested to our son that he put a toy snake in my bed when I wasn’t looking. Apparently, my little man thought the idea was hysterical, and he had talked and laughed with his dad at length about it. He had no idea, however, that I was in on their scheme.

I wasn’t particularly crazy about this prank idea. I could envision one joke turning into many, and I like my bed being a peaceful place, so I came up with an idea to nip it in the bud. When Z and I got home that night, I casually brought up how I could read minds. Laughing, he said, “No, you can’t!” He thought I was joking with him, but to be certain, he put me to the test and asked, “What am I thinking right now?” I took a pretty safe guess and said, “You’re wondering if I can really read your mind.” He crinkled his face, not sure whether or not to give me credit for that one, and asked me what else I could see in his brain. The exchange went something like this:

Me: “I can see that right in the center of your brain, you think about things that are close to your heart, like God and Mommy and Daddy and the people you love most.”

Z: [Smiling and intrigued] “What else do you see?”

Me: “In the front of your brain is where you think about things that you like to do as a hobby, like playing Angry Birds or watching Star Wars. I can tell you think about that a pretty good bit.”

Z: [Excited] “What about on the side? Can you see anything on the side of my brain?”

Me: “That’s where you think about your friends and the games you play together.”

Z: “Well, what about the back?”

Me: “I’m not so crazy about what I see back there.”

Z: [Nervous] “Why? What is it?”

Me: “I can see that in the back of your brain you’ve been wondering what it would be like to play a trick on Mommy – [dramatic pause] – You’ve been wondering what would happen if you put a toy snake in my bed!”

Z: [Mind. Blown. Jaw. Dropped.] “What?!?! How can you see that?!?!”

Me: “I told you. I can read your mind.”

Oh, my word, that was fun! (Stop judging.) I gained respect from my son that day in ways I can’t begin to explain. From that day to this, every time he wants to play a guessing game he will lay down the ground rule, “And you can’t read my mind! That would be cheating.” He fully believes I have this power.

The promotion to Wonder Woman was almost a no-brainer after that. The transition was so natural that I don’t even remember how it happened. He genuinely believes I am Wonder Woman. Just ask him where I keep my invisible jet, and he’ll show you the carport to the side of my garage. He will also tell you that Lynda Carter is just the woman they hired to play me on TV. Okay, so maybe he’s not the only one who’s had fun with this.

My son is now six, and I am a mind-reading Wonder Woman with eyes in the back of my head. Why was it so easy to convince him that his mom is actually a super hero? I’ll tell you. Very little gets in the way of a child believing because they don’t yet have reasons not to. Children enter this world trusting. They don’t have decades under their belt of being knocked around by life’s tough blows and disappointments. Generally speaking, they haven’t yet been hurt like you and I have.

I never imagined that pretending to be Wonder Woman for my son would teach me a lesson about faith in God, but it did.

Image courtesy of Asif Akbar at FreeImages.com

When I think about Jesus saying we must become like a child, I realize that while life itself gives me reasons to be guarded, my heavenly Father does not. It’s safe to believe Him. Life can be a bully, but He is loving and faithful, and His track record is perfect. Like the Daddy who lovingly tosses his child in the air, He never drops me. And like the child who is tossed, I want to be lost in the moment with Him, totally believing He will catch me…because He will. I find immense comfort in that because this pretend Wonder Woman gets tired, discouraged and bruised.

And I worry…

And I lose sleep…

Because I’m not really Wonder Woman. I’m not even a “wonder mom”. I’m regular, and life’s hard. I foul things up all the time, and I need Someone beyond super hero status who can save my day. This stressful day I’m in the middle of right now.

So, when things get scary, I will remind myself that the rescuing is not up to me. My part is to simply believe the Rescuer, and there’s no better way to learn how than to pay attention to a child. What have you learned from your kiddo? I’d love to hear some of the life lessons you’ve gleaned from motherhood.

As for that blatant lie I told my son? Raise an eyebrow if you like, but know this: He has a blast being privy to my secret identity…and I’ve yet to have a snake show up in my bed.

From the heart of Dixie Mama…always say grace.

 

2 comments

  1. Rhonda Scales

    Take a bow Wonder Woman ❤️

    1. Hayley Cranfield

      Thank you, Rhonda ;) The stars kind of aligned for me on this little exchange. It has made things fun to be sure!

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