Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Holy Trinity of Questions

When Nutmeg turned 4, she added "what" and "how" to her previously "why"-heavy question repertoire. The new questions are more fun to answer but often just as difficult as the old endlessly repeating "why?"

It's unavoidable that some of the questions are going to be about religion. It's a sticky subject, because we are not religious. So we don't have a preapproved set of explanations for that stuff. And it's going to take a lifetime to explain why some kids believe in God, Jesus, Mohammed and the Almighty Dollar, but we don't.

Yet, I understand that kids are going to compare notes on this stuff. I went through it myself, growing up in a secular family. My parents wanted me to not discuss religion with other kids, but that was impossible. Kids talk about everything.

Just the other day, we visited my cousin whose family are churchgoers. They had a kid's book around that was something Biblical, and she wanted it read to her, so Epu did.

Later that day, I told her I could not take her out for a cup of hot cocoa as we had planned, because Epu suddenly had to leave the house and we couldn't leave the baby home alone.

"But someone is always watching, from the sky," she told me.

I swallowed hard and asked, "Who's that?"

"You know. Santa Claus."


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