Published 3:08 pm Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Do wishes come true? That’s what Conner (one of the twins) asked when I told him of the ritual of blowing all the little fuzzies off a dandelion. We passed by a field of the little wish makers as we were going to school and I explained the task must be done in one breath or the wish will not come true. At seven years old, he doubted the validity of my statement. He is beginning to question the things that I am telling him.

What do I answer? I have lied to this child about Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, (but not the Easter bunny), and who knows what else. Should I crush his faith in wishing?

Can wishes come true? It’s like asking do dreams come true. For either one, it takes luck, work, and some magic to make wishes come true. I can’t take the belief away from such an innocent in the world.

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We promote wishing activities through shooting stars, pulling apart wishbones from a turkey, blowing out candles on birthday cakes and rubbing lamps for magic genies. Even though you get the bigger piece of the turkey bone, you still hope your wish is magically granted.

Jim Carrey in “Liar Liar” made the leap that what if a wish did come true. His young son wishes that Jim’s character can not lie for 24 hours. Which is hilarious since he is a lawyer. Of course, in the movie it works out.

If Conner doesn’t make a wish, isn’t that more damaging in the long run? Don’t we as spiritual creatures need to believe that wishes can come true?

Disney likes to promote that wishes come true at Disney World and for a child it is a magical world but when my kids walk into one of those expensive gift shops and wants a two hundred dollar Mickey Mouse that’s where the wishes stop.

In Disney’s “Cinderella” the girl sings about a wish is a dream your heart makes so whatever we are wishing tells a lot about ourselves. It comes from what is in our heart.

Conner would probably wish for a mountain of toys, all materialistic and pertaining to giving him pleasure. What would our wishes reveal about our character?

What if we got that magical genie who gave us three wishes would we use them for our own gain or to help others? Would we at least divide it up? Tithe our wish count?

The definition of a wish says it is a hope or dream one desires. I think it is all about hope. Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events in one’s life. Even when it looks bleak, one can always have hope.

This hope is a powerful tool, without it, a person has nothing to motivate him to fight, to press on and so without hope one can not fulfill wishes.

Of course, you can wish all day long for something and sometimes you just ain’t gonna get it. I can wish to be 25 years old, firm and thin, and no matter what I do unless that genie jumps out of one of my coffeepots, I will stay forty five and soft.

We have to rely on magic for some of those impossible wishes.

Which brings me to American Idol. Yes, that is a stretch of a transition, but where else in pop culture is wishing made so obvious. Thousands upon thousands wish to be the next Idol and they go to extreme lengths to fulfill their dream by trying out, standing in long lines, trying to catch a producer’s eye. They get their big opportunity, their wish to audition is fulfilled and bam! No talent. They have a voice that with a hundred years of song therapy could not help them sing! Let alone win a singing competition!

For many of the auditioners, I wish their momma’s would have told them the truth. But, aren’t mother’s blind and deaf to their children’s shortcomings? Or too afraid to crush their child’s dream?

Which leads me back to Conner. I told him that making the wish would not necessarily make it come true but if we didn’t wish at all, it for sure would not come true.

Those who forget to even make wishes anymore are those who are without hope.

I wish for a country to continue to make wishes, to keep dreaming, and to encourage the world to do the same. I want my world to be better and if I can do my part, then even if it all falls apart, I can not point the finger at myself.

I wish Conner will continue to keep on wishing.

I wish for loose pants, less gray hair, and slower years. I wish for good weather, good health, and good dark chocolate that does not add inches to my waistline.

We must be careful what we wish for. To prove it, I will end this column with two tacky wishing jokes. (Warning: bad taste is about to follow!!)

A wife says to her husband, “I wish I had a bigger chest.” The husband recommended that she rub toilet paper on it. She is surprised and asked, “What will that do?” He answered, “I don’t know, but look how much your behind has grown.”

A couple comes to a wishing well and the guy leans over, throws a penny in and makes a wish. His wife decides to make a wish too; she leans over, falls into the well and disappears. The guy says, “Wow, it really works.”

Really, be careful what you wish for. Thank God for unanswered wishes!