In third grade, I was really jealous of some of the girls in my class — the girls who wore dainty gold necklaces with a small cross or star of David hanging off of it. The flashier girls had diamonds on theirs. I thought they were beautiful.
It was almost like a club; those girls who wore the necklaces. Not anyone could wear one. I couldn’t wear one. I wasn’t in the club.
Sure, we decorated the Christmas tree and read the children’s bible with mom. We hunted for the hidden matzoh with my cousins and spun the dreidel. We experienced the religions my parents had been raised in, but with their own twist. It was more about family, kindness, being a good person. I didn’t feel like I was missing anything…except for that shiny jewelry. The priorities of a child.
When people would talk about prayer it used to make me uncomfortable. I associated it with religion — speaking to a specific god.
Do I believe in god? Yes. My god doesn’t have a name; it is not male or female. It is just something bigger than me. Something that makes this crazy world go ’round. But, I never really talked to it. Until recently.
When I became pregnant, I started praying every night. I prayed for the health of my baby, for a safe delivery. A friend once told me that she never really prayed until the moment she found out she was going to be a mother. I understood that instantly. When my baby was born, it was the closest I’ve ever come to understanding religion.
Since that day, I’ve prayed daily. Small thank-you’s, hopes and wishes for the people I love. I don’t know if I believe in the “power of prayer”. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. But in the chance that it does, it doesn’t hurt to do it. Especially since really, my prayers have been answered.
Lately I’ve been searching for the perfect necklace to represent being a mother. I haven’t found it yet, but when I do, I will be wearing my baby’s name around my neck every day, permanently a member of the club. Because that baby is my heaven, my world. And proof to me that there’s something –someone — out there.