The Death of a Wish

How often have we said “Make a wish” As we know it to be, the purpose of blowing out candles on a birthday cake is so that a wish can be made in hopes that it might come true. Of course the older we get we realize the unlikely hood that this will happen. But to a child the wonder and magic of a wish still holds hope.

The first wish on a birthday candle started with the Greeks. Today we not only wish on candles but also on stars wishbones, fountains, wells as well as at certain times of the day. Some people believe that if you keep your wish a secret then it’s more likely to come true, others believe you have to tell your wish to someone in order for it to work.

In our home, we have freely given in to the harmless fun of wishing… until now.

It started with a wishbone. As the story goes, the person who receives the largest half of a wishbone, when broken is the recipient of the wish. Our oldest took this to heart and firmly believed that her wish would be granted. So much so that she started to prepare for it. She apparently doesn’t believe in secret wishes because she shared hers with a friend of ours, who then shared with us our child’s big hopes, because not only did she believe that her wish would come true, she believed it would happen by the time she woke up the next morning.

Steven and I discussed how we were going to handle her impending disappointment and neither of us could really stand the thought of her waking up and finding out that her wish was not granted. So before bed Steven explained to her that wishes were not true, it was just something fun that we do. She was sad but seemed to handle it ok. While putting her to bed I reiterated my husbands words, and we discussed how when you wish for something you are not wishing to anybody or anything so there is nothing that can grant your wish. BUT… when you pray you are praying to a God who hears, and loves to give gifts to His children. We talked about the kinds of gifts that he delights in giving. She seemed to accept this and I was all set to leave but when I bent down to kiss her and say goodnight,  it became clear that she had still been holding out hope because as soon as I said it, she broke out in the most heartbreaking tears and said “But I really wanted it“. What is a mother to do? I couldn’t comfort her in her desire, it wasn’t a gift I could give her. But we did discuss how she could save her money and do extra chores so she would have enough money to buy it herself. That seemed to take the bite out of the disappointment.

I have a feeling the next candle she blows out will no longer hold the same hope as in years past.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

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