Before I start this off, I’ll disclose that I am a lib’ral agnostic. Or pinko commie, whatever you want to call me. My husband is a big time Protestant (it runs in his family like Lupus). He also votes Republican. I swear he didn’t when we met. He said he didn’t care about politics, which to me translated as “ready to be converted to Liberal Democrat.” This didn’t work out so well. We also decided to raise the girls in the church. I figured they’d have an easier time of it than I did if they just believed what everyone else did (We live in Texas). Of course, I forgot they also had me as a parent. I honestly try not to push them into any one belief, whether political or religious, because I know that has the ability to backfire like nothing else. But some things they’ve come into on their own, or somehow absorbed in other ways. Observe some of their wisdom.
“If God created everything, who created God?” – asked by Thing One at around age 6 while I was driving down the road. My answer: “Good question!”
“This kid called me a hippy. I think hippy is only an insult to Republicans” – Thing One
“Republicans. Pfft.” – Thing One
“Our president is BaraaakObahhhma.” – Thing Two
“We had a class election. I voted for John McCain cause he broked both his legs in the war and I feel sorry for him.” – Thing One, age 8.
“Today our teacher finally got mad and yelled at our class that Obama was NOT going to make us go to school on the weekends so shut up about it.” – Thing Two
Thing One: You must be submerged to be fully baptized and go to Heaven.
Me: What about Moses? He was in a desert.
Thing One: That was before Jesus.
Me: Okay, what if YOU were in a desert and there was no water. Would God reject you?
Thing One: (annoyed) Mommmm, you’re making my head hurt.
At a book fair in 5th grade, Thing One chooses a biography of Obama and announces loudly, “I’m going to read this to find out what’s true and what’s not. I’m tired of these dumb Republicans being so mean to him!” (I’m thinking, hahaha, you mean the Republicans that are totally surrounding us?)
When Thing Two was four, her preschool teacher caught a cold.
Thing Two: (walks up to the teacher, puts a hand on her arm) Jesus will heal you. (then walks off just as mysteriously)
I’m putting on makeup one morning. Thing One is around ten, I think.
Thing One: Vanity is a sin.
Me: That hardly seems fair. I mean, should a vain person go to the same hell as someone who murdered lots of people?
Thing One: (thinks about it) Maybe there should be an in-between place for some.
Me: You mean like Purgatory?
Thing One: What?
(Meanwhile I can’t wait to tell my husband she’s now Catholic.)
Thing One: The teacher asked us to say which things we didn’t want in life. I chose wealth.
My husband: Wealth is not a bad thing.
Thing One: Dad. The Bible says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than a rich man to get into Heaven.
The anti-war song “War” comes on the radio.
Thing One: Mom, it’s a Democrat song!
Thing Two (age 7 or so) comes out of Bible class with a coloring page. She shows me her picture of a religious prophet done up with a Trident and waves of water.
Thing Two: Look, Mommy, I made him into Poseiden!
Me: Cool! Don’t show Daddy!
Thing One (up late one night): Mom, sometimes I lay awake and I wonder about God and how can all this be real and what’s really going to happen to us when we die and stuff. And these thoughts just go all swirly in my head.
Me: I’m sorry. You came by it honestly.
I’m trying to get the kids ready for school.
Me: Get the heck out of bed!
Thing One: In Sunday school, they tell us that heck is as bad a word as the other one.
Me: Then I should have just said hell, huh?
Preacher talking to the children: Kids, what is the most beautiful thing you can think of? (prompting them to say Heaven)
Thing Two (at age two): Penguins!
Later we get a newsletter from the church. The preacher laughs about how a kid said chickens were beautiful. Thing Two is incensed.
Thing Two: I SAID PENGUINS!
I am officially in love with your kiddos. Penguins is absolutely the right answer to that question.
Oddly, once upon a time (considering how non-religious I am now) I used to teach churchschool. (My parents made me. Not at all my fault.) I had the kindergarten class. One day, the priest came in and said hi to everyone and one of the girls gave him a hug. When he left, she had huge eyes and wouldn’t calm down. I asked her to settle down three times and finally said, “Ashley, what’s wrong with you?” “GOD WAS JUST HERE,” she said. When I tried to explain to her that was the priest, she was having none of that. “No. THAT IS GOD,” she said. In her defense, he was a very good priest and probably less smitey than the real God, so if she had to pick someone to be God, she chose well.
I love it. It’s God! I think if there is a Jesus and he ever decided to come to Earth, the only humans who would be able to really see him for who he was would be children. He’d probably show up as a homeless man or a welfare mom and everyone else would pass him by except the kids. The innocence of children is priceless. They are the ones who see the Emperor without his clothes.
I was just telling a friend the other day, if Jesus did come back, his teachings would be so foreign and out-of-line to the loudest, hatiest “Christians” (for example, the Westboro people) that they’d end up denying he was THEIR Jesus and crucifying him all over again. There’s a moral in there somewhere, but it’s too sad for me to think about what it might be.
“Jesus will heal you”
I loved it!!!!
Her teacher told me about it with this “wtf?” look on her face which made it doubly funny.
I love this. Your children are tiny heroes in a big bad world. Good luck to them.
Aw, thanks so much. I hope to be like them when I grow up. 😀
Too funny. I’m always amazed at how people deal with children’s questions about the whole religion thing. Glad my son was always so internal about it. Seems to have absorbed something from me…if that’s good or bad.
I’m amazed at how much my kids absorb and the connections they make. You think they’re not listening, but they are always listening. And learning – for good or bad sometimes!
I just found your blog, so it’s a new world to me. Loved the snippets of your children’s statements and questions. I live in an internet-free zone, as in I’m often internet-less. It’s going good today, so I’m going to check out some more of your posts.
They do. I wish I had written down so much of what they’ve said before I forgot – they’re so crazy and yet sometimes so wise.
They are wise…and wacky.
Out of the mouths of babes indeed. They distill stuff down to the essence, don’t they?
Yes. They are PAINFULLY honest sometimes. 😀
Penguins? Penguins?!? Not, “Mommy?” Not, “A cactus rose?” Not, “Mrs. Piggy?” Well… I’ll have to make sure the little prince knows the correct answer to that question – it’s definitely the Sierra Mountains. Definitely. Penguins… sheesh. What the “heck” is that about? 😉
Ha, she has been obsessed with penguins since she was 2 and I have to admit they are pretty wacky little birds. I love them too, maybe because I can identify with their wobbling all over the place.
Bahahaha! I said PENGUINS, dammit! That’s awesome.
Exactly the way she was saying it! Like, dammit, get it right!
Thing 2 rules.
Penguins, They’re so awesome, they’ll heal you better than Jesus. Probably quicker too.
Quite possibly, since laughter is one of the best medicines. And those guys always make me laugh. And the Emperor Penguins take care of each other – they take turns being on the outside of the huddle during winter storms. How many humans would do this?
No one ever does! I wish they would. I think I’m going to have some fun discussions with thing 1 and 2… I should borrow them.
While I cringe at much politically conservative evangelical Christian, I do place great value in faith and tried to teach my children to put God first in all things.
When my daughter was about 8, we were in a car accident. She and I were taken to the hospital in the same ambulance. They were asking her various questions to test her coherency.
“What is your name?”
“Good. Now what day is it?”
“Very good. Okay, who is the President?”
I thought, “My job is done.”
President God, huh? Well, there are some presidents who THINK they’re God or can speak for him, that’s for sure. Glad you too are okay.
I love this! Although it’s probably going to make me shout “I SAID PENGUINS!” at random inappropriate times for the next few weeks.
I’m still laughing about that almost seven years later. She comes up with the funniest stuff, and dead serious about it. The other day she told me about this boy in her class who was her “mortal enemy”. Haha!
I can’t decide if “…I’m tired of these dumb Republicans being so mean to him!” or Thing Two’s picture of a religious prophet done up with a Trident and waves of water is more hilarious.
Thank you – I needed that!!
You’re welcome. They entertain me so much I just had to share.
Alice, I love your kids. I really do.
And for once, regardless of the fact that I’m in the library and there are (on this occasion) other people around (we’re waiting for the supper gong) I actually did just laugh out loud at Thing Two being indignant about having said “penguins” not “chickens”.
I think it might partly be because of nuns being nick-named “penguins”, although at OHP we wear light grey, so we’re more like the baby penguins than adult ones!
She really was mad about that one. GET IT RIGHT. Later a kid messed up her lines at a play and 5 year old Thing Two said “That’s not right.” shoved her away from the microphone and proceeded to say it right.
I had a nun in my class who was very patient when I asked her questions like if they had different colored habits or just the black ones. I was RIGHT, there are different colors!
I can see that Thing Two doesn’t suffer fools!!
Yup, but it does depend rather on the community. Generally most communities will pick a colour and stick with it. The only community I know of where there’s a choice (of black, or a blue/grey sort of colour) is the Community of St Mary the Virgin, in Wantage, near Oxford. Only I suspect they may be changing this at some point, given that a number of their Sisters left them in January to go to the Roman Catholic Church. (Which is actually not out of the ordinary for CSMV as within the first 30 years of the Community existing I think, all but 2 Sisters went to Rome!) We’re light grey, there are others which are dark grey, some are black, some are brown, others are white, and some are very definitely blue. And a lot of orders these days don’t even wear habits at all.
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Thanks. I feel sunnier already.
You’re welcome Alice 🙂
Your kids are freethinkers! Good for them. Also, I would’ve been annoyed about being misquoted on the penguins too!
Yeah, get it right. Chickens have nothing on penguins, man.
This is awesome stuff! My wife is from Texas (I’m from Boston -gasp!). She’s a Charismatic Christian and I’m a drifted away evangelical. So I totally get it.
Yeah, dinner with the inlaws is often a “how hard can I bite my tongue” contest.
Luckily, due to various health and timing issues my dad and her dad have never been in the same room. I suspect there would either be a bloodbath or the two would be the best friends ever. I think it all depends on whether they shared a meal first or fought over what cable news programs to watch.
Bwahaha, your kids are hilarious! I especially love the laying of the hands 😀 😀