“That’s where all the people die,” Big E said as he stared out the window. We were driving past a cemetery next to a picturesque white church. We pass this cemetery multiple times a week, and on more than one occasion we have had this conversation.
“No,” I respond, “That’s where they bury people after they die.”
He pauses for a moment as he thinks about this.
“When I die, I don’t want them to bury me in the ground. Won’t that hurt??”
I really do hate having conversations about death with my children. In one sense it is a great way to lay out the gospel for them, explaining what Jesus did on the cross and the freedom we have from death, but on the other hand, I know that it is a very difficult concept to explain, especially to a four year old, and I worry about frightening him. I explained to him that when we die, our bodies won’t feel anything because we will be in heaven.
“But how can we be in the ground and be in heaven??”
“Our souls go to heaven.”
‘What’s a soul?”
So I started my monologue about souls and how they aren’t like bodies, and yet they are everything that we are- our thoughts, feelings, etc. After a moment of silence he simply replied, “So souls don’t have bones?”
“No, they don’t.”
“Can we see Jesus in heaven?”
“Yes, we will be able to see him in heaven.” I respond.
“Good. Because when he was on this world before we didn’t see him because he was always camouflaged.”
“Well, he wasn’t camouflaged, he was in a body.”
“Then why didn’t we see him?” Big E asked.
“Because we weren’t alive then.” I answered. “He came to earth a long time ago.”
From there I tired to explain to him that Jesus can live in our hearts if we ask him to.
“Wait!!” He exclaimed. “Jesus can live in our bodies?!?!? But how can he fit in there?”
My ever literal child strikes again. Before I could answer, he had come to the conclusion that it would make sense if “Jesus didn’t have any bones.”
With that, I pulled up to pick up C. As she climbed into the car and got buckled in, Big E excitedly told her that Jesus can live inside your heart and he can do that because he doesn’t have bones.
“She knows Jesus can live in your heart because He lives in C’s heart.”
And at that moment, the most beautiful thing happened. C spent the short drive home explaining the Gospel to her brother. She explained how he died on the cross for our sins and to help us make good choices. There were moments that were a bit off, but to hear her talk with that enthusiasm, it just made me smile. She talked in terms that he could understand, and didn’t get bogged down with the questions that I can find difficult to verbalize. It was all simplified and concise. And it was exactly what he needed to hear.
I can already tell that homework is going to be a challenge. I was quizzing C on her spelling words this evening because she has a spelling test tomorrow. I was having her write each of them down as I said them. She asked if she could do rainbows with them. It took me a little while to decipher what she meant, but eventually figured out that she planned to write the word with pencil and then trace it with different colored crayons.
Then she asked me if she could use tallies. I admit that the rainbows made me stumble, but the tallies had me completely stumped.
“What are tallies??” I asked.
“Didn’t you go to kindergarten?!?!?” She asked incredulously.
I did in fact go to kindergarten, but I certainly don’t remember tallies. I’m pretty sure we played on the playground, had snack time, and ate glue, but then again, my memory of kindergarten is bit foggy. After all it was “ahem” years ago.
“Yes, I went. But we didn’t talk about tallies.”
“Did you ever go to math class??? “
Well yes, I did, but we are currently working on spelling so I’m not sure how this is relevant at all. And what are tallies?!?
After a few more questions said in a tone of utter disbelief that she might actually know something that I don’t she explained, “Tallies are when you make four lines and then a line through it.”
“Ah ha! Of course I know what a tally is, but seriously what does that have to do with spelling homework?!?” I’m still terribly confused about that, but she just looked at me strangely and went back to printing her words as if I was being the unreasonable person in our conversation.
Big E had a small amount of homework to do this evening and when he was finished he asked to draw a picture. I told him to draw a picture of Naona and GP. This was the result.
My parents look awesome!
Big E- I drew Naona. I gave her lots of hair. I gave GP a little bit of hair.
Me- What are the spots all over GP’s face?
Big E- Those are his whiskers.
Ha ha ha ha!