I don’t believe in God the Father or God the Mother, but more the Mother than the Father.
I believe in God my piano teacher who made ham and Miracle Whip sandwiches and Scotch Broth for lunch and her husband who said they called it Scotch Broth because there were wee little Scotsman in the can.
I believe in God the newspaper, crisp and clean until the moment it’s unfolded.
I believe in God the tufts of grass poking up through the cracks in the cement – cement! – and still it grows. I believe in God like that, that you could pave the whole world and all our hearts and still the grass, the thin, thin green, would find a way through.
I believe in God my grandparents and an impromptu picnic at the Legion of Honor all in our sunglasses and a Coca-Cola for everyone; I believe in God the best friend and sleepovers at her house and her dad playing Creedence Clearwater in the morning and feeding his parakeets; I believe in God the yippie dog who won’t quit and God the cat who could give a crap; I believe in God who didn’t create Earth, or will us here, I believe in God who is here like water is here, like helium and maybe arsenic are here, because they’re just here and we’re here and why not – why not try if it makes me one inch kinder than I am now.
I don’t believe in God with a map and a plan and making bad things happen to you so you can learn something. I don’t believe in prayer. I don’t think the imaginary letters get read but I think it matters that we write them.
I believe that you often get more than you can handle.
I believe in the God of questions, the God of no answers, the God of you think too much and why not close your theology book and give that man a sandwich.
I believe in God the flat and colorless, the bland and cardboard box. I believe in God the kazoo and upside-down soup pot banged on with a wooden spoon.
I believe a lot of things sound better when you bang on them upside down with a wooden spoon.
My daughter is banging on this world with a wooden spoon.
Saying, “Here. My life is your life. Believe it.”
A version of this piece was produced as part of Just Like You, a theatrical performance of stories written by mothers of children with developmental disabilities though a partnership between Well Arts and the Northwest Down Syndrome Association. The show ran January 10-18, 2014 at the Firehouse Theatre in Portland, Oregon.
I am posting this 11 days before her IEP meeting at Westridge Elementary School in Oregon.