I have had some pretty interesting conversations with my kids recently. Of course, each has his and her own style.
My conversations with Rebecca consist mostly of:
“Buh buh buh weh?”
“Buh wuh wuh yah!”
These conversations are plentiful, as she seems to talk as much as her older sister.
My conversations with David consist mostly of:
“How was school?”
“Did you do anything new?”
“What did you learn?”
“I don’t remember. Can I play video games with Alex?”
“Sure. Be home by five.”
My conversations with Caroline are much more involved. We have been discussing death at great length lately. She is utterly preoccupied with dying and terrified of it. The other day she said, “I don’t believe in God.”
When I asked her why not, she said, “Because I don’t want to die and go to heaven. Because I don’t like dyin’.”
Trying to explain to a 4-year-old that heaven is really a wonderful place to be is like trying to explain to a hound dog that he doesn’t want to chase that squirrel.
I remember trying to digest this concept when I was little, and honestly, it has really only been in the last few years that I’ve come to the realization that being in heaven is preferable over being here on earth. I guess that’s a perspective that only comes with age and/or a certain amount of suffering. I’ve had a little of both and fortunately not a lot of either. But enough to have a more eternal perspective. So I feel her pain, and I’m patient with her quest for understanding, but we go over this about every day, and it’s getting tiresome.
I’ve done my best to express that the likelihood of her dying anytime soon is extremely slim, but she is still very concerned. And she asked the other night if I’m going to heaven with her. Now, that’s a tricky one. Such big thoughts for such a little girl.
Fortunately not all of our conversations are as deep as that. On the way home from a friend’s house today, she said, “Mommy. I want to be a guest at MY house.” I’m glad that she understands the concept of how to treat a guest. But clearly the concept of “tis better to give than to receive” has yet to penetrate her egocentric little soul.
Finally, in the category of great contradictions in life, why is it that kids are so stingy about sharing their dolls and toys but more than willing to share their cups and chapstick?
Those are my deep thoughts for today.