Monday, June 13, 2005

Not a Sunday School Teacher.

I will never become a Sunday School teacher.

On Saturday, The Boy had gone to a water park with some of his friends. He got sick while he was there and wanted to come home. His mom was scheduled to visit her grandma in the hospital in Columbus that night, and The Boy was way up in Sandusky, so I went up to get him.

When I got there, The Boy's friends' dad was like: "You've got [The Boy] all scared of meteors! He was scaring my kids with all the stuff you told him the whole way up here!"

I felt pretty bad. I'd felt awkward the other day when The Boy had started asking me about meteors and how they could kill us all. I didn't want to lie to him about it. If I said that a meteor couldn't bring about the end of the world, I would be lying and undermining my credibility. So I told him that it would be possible for a meteor to hit the Earth, but that it isn't very likely to happen. I explained about gravity, and how our atmosphere acts as a protective barrier, and all that sort of thing. We talked about other potential threats that could happen, that probably won't, and how we don't worry about those things every day. For example, it's possible a giant earthquake could come and knock down our houses; however, living in Ohio, that's just not very likely. It's possible that we could get in a car accident while we drove and get seriously hurt; but since I'm a careful driver, and the weather was nice out, and we were wearing our safety belts, that wasn't very likely and not enough of a threat to keep us from driving...etc.

When I heard that The Boy was all freaked out about meteors, I felt bad. I hadn't wanted to scare him; I just wanted to be honest. The Boy's friends' dad had told The Boy about the Book of Revelation and the End of the World. He told him that there wasn't a meteor in Revelation, so The Boy shouldn't worry about the Earth getting hit by one. He also told The Boy that I was really smart, but also really weird.

I told The Boy that Jimmy (friends' dad) was right about me, I am smart and weird, but that Jimmy was only one of those things, and not the other. The Boy thought that was pretty funny. What Jimmy didn't realize was that The Boy has been afraid of Revelation now for months, and that he had only just been calming down about it in the past few weeks. Jimmy had reopened that can of worms, threatened my credibility, and wasn't particularly effective at assuaging The Boy's fear of meteors either. After all, "The Bible doesn't say that a meteor couldn't come and hit the Earth, it just doesn't say that it will for sure!"

So The Boy and I had a lot to talk about on the way home. First, I found out that The Boy had been scared of meteors before he talked to me. Matt had let him watch Armageddon and that's what caused his phobia. I got railroaded! Now The Boy's friends' dad thinks I'm a creepy nerd, intent on instilling obscure and geeky fears in children, when, in fact, that's Matt's job - I'm just around for clean up duty afterward. I also found out that The Boy's recent worries about fires came from Matt letting him watch Ladder 49.

So The Boy and I had to discuss the End of the World, and how he didn't have to worry about it, because he believes in God and loves Jesus and all that, and that means that he'll be safe. We had to talk about fires, and why God lets bad things happen to good people. These are big subjects for anyone, much less nine year olds. I told The Boy about Job, and we talked about having faith in God even when we don't understand why things are happening the way that they are. I told him that the most important thing to do in life, is to love God with your whole heart and mind, and that you have to love God more than anyone on Earth.

I had actually been feeling pretty good about our conversation until today. We were eating dinner when Matt and Jasmin got in a fight. Matt had basically stolen Jasmin's spinach, and she was bellyaching over it and telling Matt what a jerk he was.

The Boy: Yes! Mommy's going to heaven!
Me: Well, yes, but what brought that on?
The Boy: You said that, to go to heaven, you have to love God more than even your husband or wife, and mom definitely loves God more than Matt right now!

I don't know whether I should be glad that he thinks about our conversations a few days after we've had them, or worried that I'll be arrested for corrupting the youth. I'm really going to have to work on these impromptu talks on spirituality.