Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Talking About the Real Stuff

Today after eating together as a family, my son announced that flies are really agnostic and that's why he doesn't like them.  What?  My husband looked at me and then B, "Do you mean obnoxious?" 

"Yeah, abnosxious."

He went off running and playing in the yard, "I wonder where he heard agnostic?"

My husband confessed, "Oh, we were discussing that last night."

Then later that night the boys were fighting over the new toothbrushes.  One was Star Wars, the other Batman.  They both wanted the Star Wars one.  So I tried to make the Batman  one more appealing, "You guys know that a new Batman movie just came out."

B added, "Yeah, that is the one where the guy came in a killed and shot all those people.  Why did he do that?"

Apparently my son had read some of the newspaper that morning...with his dad.

My husband and I have always leaned toward not "protecting" our kids, but just telling them the truth and reality of their world.  (This is how we treated Hans' mom's cancer and it opened us up to practicing prayer and faith.) Yet, the latest discoveries surprised me a bit.  Part of me didn't want my sons to fear movie theaters.  That one seemed to come a little too close to their reality. (I was actually fine with the agnostic concept.)

But I trust my husband.  I've heard his conversations.  He's quite good.  He frames things well, asks good questions, and paints age-appropriate truth for my boys.

I remember sharing with a group of readers at one of my book talk events for Just Moms, that I had shared with my sons about Osama bin Laden when he had been captured.

Someone from the audience was looking for the perfect answer that she could then take back and have with her children, "And how did you handle that conversation?"

I didn't really have a good answer, "I don't know.  I guess I just told them who he was and why our country was happy to have captured him.  The boys didn't say much.  They listened and then we moved on with our breakfast."

But I'm finding that these little conversations come back around.  The boys listen and ask and then the Holy Spirit works.

The other day Coen was asking about God's power and what makes him so powerful.  He, being a boy, loves the idea of super powers.  He also loves the idea of ultimate good and ultimate bad.  Black and white.  We were having a good conversation. I was doing most of the listening.  Then he pointed to his heart, "But this, this love is the most powerful."

And so I trudge on and I hope that in my honesty as a mom and a person who is grappling with life, the good and the bad, that my sons will ultimately see a woman and a community who desire a relationship with an all-loving and all-powerful God and see a transformation in me that gives them the confidence to know there must be a God...and that somewhere in this messy earth that Love does win.

And I guess that is why we continue to share the good, the bad, and the ugly with our kids.


Paula said...

We have a comparable approach here as well. It's hard sometimes. Kendall amazes me at some of the conversations we've had already from same sex partners to the events of 9/11. If he asks me a question, I try to answer it honestly. Great post.

connie said...

Eric and I were just talking last night about how we want to talk to our kids honestly about faith. It's a tough subject, and so much easier to give pat, Sunday-School answers or just gloss over things and move on. But your approach (which is the approach we try to take as well) is worth so much more in the end.

Jen Rouse said...

Oh, that last comment was from me--apparently my Mom was logged in on my computer still!

jpierce said...

I totally agree with being honest with children. In fact, my need to do that actually brought me back to God because I wasn't sure what I believed and had to sort it out before trying to explain the difference between God and Superman.It all worked out:)