Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mental Gymnastics (life with a very curious 4 1/2 year old)

And don't forget that he's 4 1/2 -- he'll be sure to correct you.

Here are the highlights of our conversation at lunch yesterday. Beware -- this may disillusion you as to how good I am thinking on my feet. The conversation turned, as it frequently does since Carissa passed away, to the whys and wherefors of it all.

Sammy: How did Carissa die?
Mommy: She was very, very sick, honey.
Sammy: But HOW did she get veryvery sick?
Mommy: Hmmm... I don't really know. We don't know how she got so sick. I think Heavenly Father just really needed her back in Heaven.

which led to talking about some of the other people we know who are in Heaven, like Grandma and Grandpa Pearce and Grandpa Neves.

Sammy: I bet Nana wants her dad back, huh?
Mommy: Well, Nana does miss Grandpa Neves very much. But you know, Grandpa Tarbet is her dad, too, and he's still here. Grandpa Neves was Nana's stepdad. She loves them both very much.
Sammy: Who's MY stepdad?
Mommy: You don't have one, sweetie.
Sammy: But what if Dad dies and you marry someone else? Then HE'LL be my stepdad.
Mommy: I don't think that's something you need to worry about, honey. (He's been really curious about step-parents lately -- the day before he had asked who his step-mom was and the conversation went pretty much the same way.) Daddy and I are married in the temple, which means that even if one of us dies our family will still be together forever. I'd still be your mommy and Daddy would still be your daddy.
Sammy: But what if you're really really OLD and Dad dies? Then if you get married again will he still be my step-dad?
Mommy: Yes, I suppose so.

Somehow this segued into the following conversation:
Sammy: I have infinity super powers, you know, and I'm NOT using my imagination. (The super powers thing is another big interest right now.)
Mommy: I know, it's amazing!
Sammy: I have the power to make people who are in Heaven come back to Earth!
Mommy (who knows where this is headed, because Sammy's greatest wish is for Carissa to come back right now): Sweetheart, only Heavenly Father can decide who is on Earth and who is in Heaven. Heavenly Father has a different plan for each person, and He knows where they need to be.
Sammy: But I really do have that power.
Mommy: I don't think so, honey -- only Heavenly Father does.
Sammy: Okay, I'll give that superpower back to him.
Mommy: I think that's a good idea.

Sammy: So, Heavenly Father knows EVERYTHING, right?
Mommy: Yes, He does.
Sammy: Does Jesus know everything?
Mommy: Yep, Jesus knows everything too.
Sammy: But HOW did Jesus get to know everything?
Mommy (trying to figure out how to explain the godhead to a 4 1/2 year old): Because Heavenly Father and Jesus work together, kind of like they're on a team. Jesus is Heavenly Father's Son.
Sammy: Oh, Jesus is Heavenly Father's SON!
Mommy: Yep.
Sammy: And Mary was Jesus's mommy right?
Mommy: Right.
Sammy: So, were Mary and Heavenly Father married?
Mommy: ... No.
Sammy: So, how did Heavenly Father MAKE Jesus?
Mommy: (wondering how to explain immaculate conception to a 4 1/2 year old): I don't know exactly how, buddy. It was a miracle... (or something along those lines, I can't remember exactly what brilliant answer I came up with) Mary's husband was Joseph. He wasn't Jesus' dad, but he took care of Jesus while he was growing up.
Sammy: But then he died, and Mary married Heavenly Father, and then Heavenly Father was Jesus's stepdad!
Mommy: My brain hurts.

Okay, I didn't really say that, but I was thinking it! I did go on to try to explain things better, so here's hoping it got through and that Sammy wasn't left with an image of Heavenly Father as an all-knowing superhero stepdad. Oy.

One thing's for sure -- this boy keeps me on my toes!


Kellie said...

Wow - you're amazing! Preggo brain and everything, you did great. I so can't imagine having these conversations with my little guys yet. Logan's still wrapping his head around the fact that Daddy's in Abu Dhabi instead of Hobby Lobby. (I feel like I'm talking about that alot lately.)

Clara said...

When my kids start asking tough questions I am going to send them your way! :)