Diapers and Dragons

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Talking Philosophy, Three-Year-Old Style

Lately DramaBoy has been very into Bible stories and figuring out the whole God thing. Ever since I started taking him to church/Sunday school and his grandma started reading to him from The Big Picture Story Bible, which has been his absolutely favorite book for several months now, he has dived headlong into faith, three-year-old style. It's kind of amazing to see.

But there are some interesting questions coming up, some of which would be difficult to answer for someone with a doctorate in theology, much less a prodigal who only recently has started picking up the Bible again.

Yesterday as we drove home, he suddenly piped up from the back seat: Mama? There are two Gods, right? A big one and a little one?

Great. I get to try to explain the Trinity to a three-year-old.

No, there's just one God, I replied. But He can be three different people.

Where do I go from there? I mean, come on. This is something I barely understand.

Um, you know how I am Mommy to you and The Widget, and I'm also a teacher, and I'm also a friend to other people? It's like I'm three different people, but I'm still one person.

Oh, he said.

Sudden inspiration hit me. Someone just mentioned lately an approach she was taking with her preschool Sunday School class.

OK, so you know how water is sometimes all wet and liquid, like the rain? And then sometimes it's hard and cold, like ice and snow? And then if it gets hot, it's steam? It's still water, but it can be in three different forms, I said.

Oh! Okay, he said. He sounded a little more sure this time. All right. That would have to do for the time being.

So that took care of faith. But the philosophy bug had apparently hit us both (okay, maybe me a little more than him) because a little bit later he started singing "Rockabye Baby", only to stop and comment: Mama? Cradles rock sometimes. But why does the cradle fall?

Well, that song is really a representation of politics, I replied. Ha! If I could take on the doctrine of the Trinity, I could handle a little discussion about rebellion against government.

Sometimes cradles fall, he confirmed.

Right. What that is really talking about is what happens when the people rise up against a corrupt government, I said, with growing confidence.

Oh, he said. There was a pause.

But we don't do that! he said, as sure in his position as I was in mine.

You're right, baby, you're right. We don't really do that these days, I replied, thinking about all the decades of corruption and increasing lack of confidence in our leadership, as well as the growing apathy about really doing anything about it.

I told you I'm in trouble with these kids. If I'm not careful, he's going to be teaching ME what's what.

And not that I'm putting expectations on him or anything, but I'd rather he be a pastor or seminary professor than a politician. Just sayin'.

4 bits of love:

Kathleen said...

So cute! You have quite a little thinker on your hands!!

The Kampers said...

oh dear...I am really not sure what I am going to do when we get to that stage! Forrest was talking about hugging Jesus the other day!

mom said...

Ohhh, du courage, TeacherMommy! You're doing a good job, and some day DramaBoy will be sitting across from you arguing for the complex truths the way his uncle (the one I assume was singing with you) can do with such gusto. May this faith take deep root, with all the questions and searching that is entailed!

bsouth said...

Yup, you've got yourself a three year old there alright! Mine wanted to know what happened to the baby when the cradle fell. I didn't feel up to explaining the whole origin of the nursery rhyme to her so I just said it would cry. She didn't look convinced. I fear that one is going to bite me again fairly soon.

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