I was raised in the Catholic Church.
Well, obviously I wasn’t raised in the Catholic Church. I grew up in a house, with a yard, a dog, and a heaping helping of dysfunctional drama; but we went to church [most] Sundays, did the Advent schpeel at Christmas, and always gave up something for Lent. We were pretty normal.
Sometime in my late college days, I abandoned the whole church thing to explore my soul or some such nonsense. Ugh, dogma was so not for me. (Dirty Hippy, an old man grumbles somewhere.) Nowadays, of course, I’m attempting to discover spirituality in my own more practical way.
But, I mean, once a Catholic, always a bit of a Catholic, right?
Recently, before boarding a plane to LA, my very Catholic grandmother handed me a small, ornate pouch. I asked her what it was. She just replied, “Open it.” It was a rosary. There was nothing else to say. The rosary pouch has been living in my purse, untouched, for about a month. I’m afraid to remove it. It could be the reason God suddenly seems to like me.
As a kid, my vision of heaven was basically what a crafty set up looks like on a film set: a long table with snacks, and mini wieners, and dip, and Red Vines, and donuts and even apples. And behind that table, sitting on a cloud, was God. It was an epically awesome vision. Let’s just say I try to be nice to everyone in case there really is a heaven and that’s really what it’s like.
On the fourth of July, while enjoying the evening’s celebration, I saw a man dressed like Jesus, standing under a street lamp, talking to some folks; and for minute, I actually thought, sh*t is this it? I thought it might be the Apocalypse. (In my defense, the man had an uncanny resemblance to the white guy who plays Jesus in that Good Friday movie my mom used to make us watch as kids.)
One of my dearest gal pals gave birth to her first son Miles Aaron on that same fourth of July night (although, as she’s a Michigander, it was 1:30am on the fifth). I am not this baby’s godmother; however, as my gal pal and I are creative types, we came up with an alternate title. I am the fairy godmother. (Weirdo, an old lady whispers somewhere.)
The role of a godparent in the Catholic Church is a very important one. They’re basically entrusted with the safety of their godchild’s soul. It can be a truly beautiful relationship when done right. Like I said, however, I am not Miles’ official Catholic godmother. He’s Jewish, anyway. But since I’m a dirty hippy, weirdo creative type with Catholic guilt that resurfaces at strange times, I plan to take the role of fairy godmother just as seriously.
The following is a small list of fairy godmother vows I make to my fairy godson Miles:
1. I promise that we will always eat dessert first at my house. Every kid deserves an aunt that has an unhealthy relationship with candy. It’s only fair.
2. I promise to secretly, but severely judge your first two (2) serious girlfriends. They won’t be good enough for you. Sorry. But, as a counter-offer, I further promise to convince your mother to give them a chance (because she will be judging them far more severely and out rightly).
3. I promise to hold hands and skip through a sunny, open, flower-filled field with you one day. Okay, let me explain. Before you were born, I was convinced you were a girl. And, just like my vision of heaven, I had dreams that she and I would one day skip through a sunny, flower-filled open field. Don’t worry–I’ll do it when you’re old enough to run, but still young enough to block it from your memory.
4. I promise to introduce you to one of the most influential and flawless films ever made: Hocus Pocus.
5. I promise to convert to memory at least one magic trick so you can tell your friends you have a magical fairy godmother. (But only until you’re like 10. Stupid mean kids might start making fun of you past that point.) (Better yet, maybe we should keep this one between us.)
6. Finally, I promise to never stay away too long. And if for some reason I should, promise to send lots of weird, mushy letters in the actual mail. Signed with love, from your weird Aunt Fairy Godmother KK.
If we think of any more fairy godmother promises along the way, we’ll tack them on. Our adventures will be epically awesome. After all, a crazy guy dressed like Jesus appeared before me on the night of your birth.
You don’t get a clearer sign than that.