Category Archives: God

M-m-m-magic!

I’m just finishing up my breakfast when my son says: “So mom, the first people on the earth, how did they spread?” 

“What do mean ‘how did they spread?’” I ask, feeling a bit defensive as I shovel the last bite of french toast, the last bite of bacon, into my mouth.  Is he setting me up for a fat joke, I wonder? 

“Well, how did they spread around?  Did God send down more or were some of them girls and they had babies?”

Ah!  It’s not a fat joke after all.  In my mind I picture people floating down from the heavens in a tunnel like band of light. The opposite direction of how you might imagine people being sucked up by an alien space ship hovering in the clouds.

The voices in my head start up.  They gasp, and wonder why he is thinking about this.  The voices rise as they start to panic in my brain, Why?  Why are you asking me this?  You are SIX, just go watch some cartoons already.  Be a couch potato for half an hour.  Quit playing ‘inquiring minds want to know.’  Let your mother get back to thinking about piercing her nose…

“I think some were girls and they had babies,” I tell him.

To which he replies, “Oh.  So when the babies grew up if they were girls they had more babies.”  And I agree that sounds about right.

Then he says, “Well, the first people, they were all family right?  So then if they were family, then everyone in the world today is really family to each other.”  In my mind I sigh, and out loud I agree that at some level, he is probably right.  I wait for him to go on, to take it to the next level and tell me that if everyone in the world is family and people get married, then that means they are marrying family, so it should be okay for him to marry his cousin Emma after all.  But luck is on my side, and he doesn’t go there.

I don’t feel like playing religious education teacher this morning.  I don’t have the strength of will to explain the Catholic’s concept of God as the one and only father because I know it will lead to more questions.  And probably defiance.  I can picture it clearly, Snags arguing with his father: “Mom said you aren’t my REAL dad, so you can’t tell me what to do.  I don’t have to pick up my LEGOs unless God tells me to!” 

And then, “How did you have a baby with God anyway, Mom?” I know if I try to explain he will ask me that next.  So yes, I think, best to let this one sit there for now.  Maybe the Scooby Doo cartoon on TV will capture his interest.

At dinner time, just as I get a mouthful of turkey Snags asks, “So who invented Disney World, anyway?  And how did they invent Disney World?”

“A man named Walt Disney had a dream,” I offered.

“A dream about what?” Snags asks.

“A dream to build the happiest place on earth,” my husband helpfully chimes in.

“But how did Mickey Mouse come to life?” Snags wonders.

This one, I’m confident, I can handle.  I sit up a little straighter.

“Well,” I say, “a cartoonist was drawing cartoons on a piece of paper, and there was this strange little bottle sitting on his desk.  He had never seen the bottle before and he didn’t know what it was, but he didn’t give it much thought.  While he was drawing, he accidentally knocked the bottle over and the cork popped out and the liquid inside spilled all over his drawing.  It turned out that the liquid was growth serum and when it hit the drawing of Mickey Mouse, the paper started to bubble and Mickey Mouse grew right out of the drawing!  He popped right out and was actually standing ON the desk.  Then he waved at the man who drew him, and he said “Hiya!” and the man fainted from shock right there.

I imitate what I think a man fainting from shock right where he is sitting might look like.  Snags giggles.  I’m proud of my explanation, it sounds good.

Only…

“What color was the growth serum?  Was it blue?  Was it green?  Was it red?  Can we get some? Where did it come from? Let’s get some! Can we make some?  Where do they sell growth serum?  Tell me again what happened…”

And the questions continue until Snags decides that maybe we can get some growth serum and use it to bring the dead back to life!  I shudder at the thought, wondering who he would use this on, if he could.  With visions from W.W. Jacob’s The Monkey’s Paw in my mind, I gently explain how that might not be such a good idea.  With Easter around the corner I consider telling him that only God can bring the dead back to life, but decide to leave it alone, for now.  I stick with a watered down explanation of zombies and the decaying dead, and how if he used the growth serum he’d be bring back nothing but skeleton bones.  It sounds plausible enough.  But later, my husband asks me why I didn’t just tell him that Mickey came to life from Disney Magic.  Damn! Why didn’t I think of that? I wonder.  But it’s okay.  I can use the Disney Magic explanation the next time Snags asks about how people came to earth and started spreading around. 

The only problem, as I see it, is how to explain things once Snags realizes that Mickey Mouse isn’t real.  That Mickey Mouse at Disney World is really just a person inside a costume.  I guess I’ll have to teach him about cannibalism then. 

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Filed under death, Disney, God, humor, life, Magic, Snags

Don’t Try This at Home

Snags has the imagination of a crazy person’s reality.  A schizophrenic’s perhaps.  I don’t know if he actually hears voices, but he certainly holds conversations with invisible people — people that aren’t exactly real, like Darth Vader and The Mystery Gang from Scooby Doo.   He once spent weeks, or maybe it was months, talking to Eric and Dr. Kaufman and the Phantom Virus, characters that were in Scooby Doo and The Cyber Chase.  Most recently, he’s been holding his hand to his ear as if it were a telephone and having conversations with Darth Vader and The Emperor.  And he’s been known to suddenly shout out in the middle of dinner for someone to “STOP FIGHTING OVER THERE WITH YOUR LIGHT SABERS!”  Then of course, there’s the fact that Snags has changed his identity many, many, many times over the past few years.  I’m not sure how it’s taken me this long to wonder why I haven’t ever hauled him off to the doctor to get this checked out.  A visit with a psychiatrist perhaps, to reassure myself that this is just his imagination at play and that he’s not actually CRAZY…

But anyway, given his imagination, I thought it would be fun to make up a story, something utterly impossible and fun, and share it with him.  After all, Snags usually likes my made up stories.  He often requests them.  “Mom,” he asks most nights before bed, “Can I have a telling story? Please? Just one short one before I go to sleep?” 

So one afternoon a few weeks ago, I found myself a little bit bored and dare I say sick and tired of listening to Snags having one sided conversations with Darth Vader and the Emperor on his hand phone, and I decided to tell him a story…

But before I tell you more, let me give you a little bit of background on my inspiration for the story, which I took from Pinocchio, my own mother, and Bill Cosby…  Pinocchio, you may recall, is the story of a wooden puppet that gets turned into a real live boy. My mother, well she used to tell my brother when he was a kid, that she got him from a shelf in a department store and that she could return him at any time… And that sort of reminded me of Bill Cosby, and that bit where he says something like “…I brought you into this world and I can take you out, make another one that looks just like you…” 

It was with those thoughts in mind that I came up with this story. This story that I made up on the spot and thought was a pretty ingenious idea: both brilliant AND funny.  So funny, in fact, that I was chuckling in my mind the entire time I was telling it.  But oh, the wrath I brought down upon myself!

See, I told  Snags that he was originally a baby doll and that I bought him at Toys R Us. Everyone, I told him, all of our family and friends, and even strangers, thought I was crazy for carrying a doll around.  So I started to pray to God to turn the doll into a real boy and when he was 7 ½ weeks old, God did!  But, the night before that happened, right before I went to bed, I had tossed Snags the doll into my toy box because, well, he was just a doll… But then in the middle of the night a noise woke me up.  I heard something crying and there was a bad smell in my room.  Our dog had started barking, so I turned on the light to see what all the commotion was about and saw the dog barking at the toy box.  I got out of bed, went over to see what was going on, and lo and behold, there was Snags, alive and waving his arms and crying.  And he’d pooped his diaper!

I went on to tell Snags that the scar over his eye, the one we’d always told him he got from throwing himself on the floor and hitting his face on a toy when he was a baby, was really from the dog taking him out of the toy box and playing fetch with him when he was still a doll.  That, you see, is where the dog’s teeth had scratched his doll head…  Now, I thought this was all very funny, but apparently I was wrong.

Snags totally freaked out and screamed and yelled at me.  He was so stinking mad I couldn’t believe it.  “No!”  He screamed.  “You’re lying!  That’s not true!  I was never a doll!  Why would you say that?  I’m not going to trust you anymore!”

I was taken aback at his outburst and suddenly I felt very defensive.  It was just a story, after all.  A story I kind of liked, you know, since I made it up (even if Pinocchio and my mother had sort of been the inspiration for it). But still…

In my defensiveness, I’m a little ashamed to admit, I turned into a bit of a child myself and kept insisting the story was true, and that Snags shouldn’t be so upset.  In fact, I told him, “You can ask your dad and Uncle Dan when they get here.  They’ll tell you this is all true!”

And of course Snags did.  He ran screaming to my husband and his Uncle the moment they walked in the front door.

“Dad!”  He yelled. “MomsaidIwasadollandGodturnedmeintoaboyandIknowsheslying!”

“What?!” my husband responded. “She said what?”

“MomsaidIwasadollandGodturnedmeintoaboyandIknowsheslying!” Snags repeated.

My husband looked at me, shook his head in disgust and said, “Now WHY would you tell him THAT?” and my brother, Snags’ Uncle, started laughing.

“It’s NOT FUNNY!” Snags cried.  “It’s not true, either, is it Uncle Dan?” he insisted.

But my brother, well, he’s a lot like me and can’t resist a good moment when he sees it.

“Well yeah it’s true!” he said, with a big smile spreading across his face.

To which, Snags got even angrier.  My husband had to calm him down, and I had to admit that it was just a story.  But I still maintained it wasn’t such a big deal and he shouldn’t have gotten so upset about the whole thing.

And my brother, he seemed a little deflated when the truth came out. But I think that’s because up until the point where I had to come clean and admit that the whole “Snags was once a doll” story wasn’t true, my brother was probably thinking that if my mom ever did return him to that department store, at least there was a chance his nephew might be sitting on the shelf next to him. 
 

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Filed under dog, God, humor, identity, insanity, parenting, Scooby Doo, Snags, Star Wars, telling stories

Thank You, Randy Newman

I’m short. 5’3” short to be exact.  Except when I wear heels and I can trick people into thinking I’m taller than I really am.  My husband, he’s tall.  Taller than me.  Probably average tall for a guy.  I can’t remember exactly how tall he is and so I can’t tell you here because you know how men are.  If I get it wrong, especially if I err on the short side of his correct exact height, he’ll get all upset and I’ll have to come back and issue a correction.  Something like Correction: For the record, my husband is X and 1/4” tall, not X and 1/8” tall as I had previously stated…  And I’m so not in the mood for that.  So let’s just say he’s a fair deal taller than I am and leave it at that.

For the most part, my height hasn’t been much of an issue.  Well, except when I buy clothes and have to pay some highly talented seamstress to trim 3 feet of material off the bottom of my pants.  Where ARE all these women who are eight feet tall anyway?  I’ve never met any of them but when I shop most of the clothes seem to be made for them.

But this isn’t really about clothes. It’s about attitudes and it’s about music, because it made me think of the Short People song by Randy Newman.  It’s about religion and gender (but only barely) and wondering what, exactly, got into my son. Really, it’s about the things kids say that make you go “hmmm…”

Because at breakfast this morning my son Snags said to me, completely out of the blue, “Ms. Trish is short, too!”  Then he asked, “Are all women like that?”

I said no, some women are tall. Ms. Trish is one of his teachers, and while I haven’t actually measured her, if I had to guess, I’d say she’s about my height. I reminded Snags that his Aunt Viv is pretty tall.  I pointed out that his cousin Christina, standing at her full height of young and strikingly beautiful and about 6 feet, is tall. 

And he looked at me and said, rather pointedly, “Yeah, but she’s really skinny.”

A little later, as I buckled Snags into his booster seat in the back seat of the car, he stopped me so he could adjust his shorts.  “Do you want my waist band to be higher than my belly button?” He demanded to know.

“Higher than your belly button?  Sure. Doesn’t matter to me.” I replied, still stinging from the implied fat comment.

Then he made up a song and sang “Higher than the women were the lemon drops!  Higher than everything were the clouds.  The rain came down on all the women and the men hid inside their houses.” 

Yeah, the men were probably watching football, or playing Xbox, I thought.

Then his song turned kind of dark…

“The men locked the doors so the women got soaking wet.  Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! HA!”

I don’t know why but I started getting irritated at his five year old callousness. I said “Hey, that’s not funny.  That’s kind of mean. You shouldn’t make fun of women. If it weren’t for women, men wouldn’t even be here.”

He looked contemplative then asked “Why not?” 

“Well,” I said, “Women are the ones who have all the babies. Girl babies AND boy babies.  If there weren’t any women then there wouldn’t be any boy babies so they couldn’t grow into men.”

“Why can’t men have babies?”  He asked. 

“Because,” I said “God made it so only women could have babies.”

“God could do it!” He retorted. “God is really powerful, right?  He could have babies himself or he could just make them.”

“Or,” he added after a short pause, “God could make men have the babies.” 

“No,” I said, “That wouldn’t work.  The men wouldn’t take care of the babies.  They’d probably sit around playing video games all day, ignoring the babies when they cried and needed to be fed or have their diaper changed.”

“Yea-ah” agreed my son.  “That’s why the women would take care of the babies.  “Anyway,” he added, “You’ll understand one day when you’re as tall as dad.”

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Filed under babies, God, height, humor, short, Snags, tall