Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Christianity for toddlers

Yesterday I took Iris to the park in the morning, and a five-or-so-year-old girl bent my ear with some truly weird tall tales featuring Jesus and Satan. (Also, she asked if Iris was my granddaughter, but that's another story.) Back at home, I was reporting this to J within Iris' earshot, and the following conversation ensued:

Iris: What's Jesus?

J and me: (look at each other in silence}

Me, raised without religion, to J, the former practicing Catholic: I think you should handle this one.

J: (further silence)

Me, finally jumping into the breach: Jesus was a very nice man who taught other people how to be nice.

Iris: Jesus teach 'bout hitting?

Me: Yes. He taught that hitting is not nice, and we should not hit.

Iris: I want touch Jesus.

J: Jesus died a long time ago.

Iris: Come back, Jesus!

Did you hear that, religious right? Our work here is done.


Anonymous Sarah said...

I stumpled over here from Kiddley (drawn in by the red Ikea curtains pictured in Iris's room) and I'm slowly wending my way through your archives (which I'm throughly enjoying). This story made me cackle. Your conversation with Iris about Jesus is one that very well could've happened in this household and so, it resonates.

My husband and I refer to ourselves as the fallen Presbyterian and the fallen Jew. Together we flunked out of Unitarianism. A sorry lot, we are. Organized religion is just not our cup of tea. And so, we began referring to Sunday breakfast out as "church." This came to a screeching halt though when while driving past a really magnificent cathedral my oldest daughter (four at the time) asked me what that "pretty building" was. Was it a castle? she wondered. When I replied that it was a church she asked, "Do they have pancakes there?" Whoops.

3:24 PM  

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