Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The Bible scares my son
The celebrations are over. I've been spoiled and celebrated and now I'm just a thirty-year-old mom trying to look hip, survive the days and treasure the moments.
My little brother visited this weekend to surprise me for my birthday. Simon was so excited, and Mark was gracious enough to babysit for our birthday date. I'm pretty sure Mark hasn't so much as babysat a plant before (could be wrong), so it was a brave offer - especially since Simon hates hates hates being left.
I explained the bedtime routine, and that Mark should read the next chapter in the "God Book" (that would be this awesome story Bible) before bed.
If you're not the parent of a three-year-old (or maybe it's just my three-year-old?), you might think that Bible stories are appropriate for children. They are not. They are full of more brutality and inappropriate behavior than a forbidden R-rated movie. To a small child, the overarching themes of forgiveness, love, grace and mercy are often lost.
So that's why Mark was disturbed to see that the evening's selection was the crucifixion of Jesus. Say what you want about that being the cornerstone story, it's darn scary for a little boy to read about how his "best friend" who "lives in his heart" is tortured and killed. But, Mark gamely read the story to a thoughtful Simon.
As he was saying good night, he heard, "Uncle Marky? Why were they mean to Jesus?"
There's a lot more to the uncle thing than presents and playing - Marky did great and I got to swoop in the next night with the story of the resurrection (and to a baby who can barely understand death, there's nothing confusing about that one!)