Oh My Heavens!

Sometimes it’s fascinating to watch kids and how their brains develop. Ages 4 to 5 seem to be when they really start thinking about things a bit more in the abstract and ask sometimes impossible questions. It’s also when questions about God seem to come up. Tonight Justin said to me, “Mom, Karen’s mom is in heaven.”

Me: “I know she is.”
Justin: “Yeah. She’s up there. Mom, are you gonna go to heaven, in a little bit?”
Me: “No, not yet.”
Justin: “Why?”
Me: “Because I want to be here with you. You’d miss me if I were in heaven.”
Justin: “But heaven is up there where church is, I could go with you at church.”
Me: “Ok.”
Justin: “Is heaven up in the sky?”
Me: “Yes.”
Justin (pointing down): “And what’s down there?”
Me: “That’s where bad people go.”
Justin: “Who goes down there?”
Me: “People who hurt other people or do really bad things. Bad guys.”
Justin: “Why?”
Me: “Because they’re bad people.”
Justin: “Is there lava down there?”
Me: “Maybe.”
Justin: “There is. The bad guys go in the lava.”
Me: “I suppose they do.”
Justin: “I’m going outside now.”

It’s funny, most of the conversations seem to end as abruptly as they begin. Here’s a similar conversation I had with David when he was five when he turned to me of the blue and asked, looking mildly panicked, “Mom? Someday am I gonna die???”

Me (dodging the question): “Why would you ask that?”
David: “Well, Justin (his older and wiser six year-old friend) said I’m gonna die.”
Me (still dodging): “Well, you don’t have to worry about that now.”
David: “Am I gonna DIE?”
Me: “Sweetie, why don’t you think about something nicer?”
David (I’m beginning to see shades of lawyer or “60 Minutes” reporter in him): “TELL me!!!”
Me (he broke me down): “Well, eventually everyone dies.”
David (horrified look on his face): “But, I don’t WANT to die!”
Me: “You don’t have to worry about that now because you won’t die for a long, long time, not until you’re really old.”
David (somewhat calmed): “Ok.”
Me: “Plus, when you die, you’ll go to heaven and God will take care of you.”
David: “Well, I don’t want to go to heaven. God doesn’t even have TV there.”

End of conversation.

© 2010



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