From the Mouths of Babes

At dinner last night, my three year old daughter asked her Daddy if Mommy was right, was he indeed only joking when he told her she couldn’t eat any more because she had to stay little and not grow anymore? Then finishing her dinner for once, she went over her plan for her life. She has already declared with great urgency and to the exclusion of all other possibilities that she must grow up and have babies. Lots of babies. Apparently, she won’t have any time for anything else in her life, like traveling or learning gymnastics. Then her poor little mind turns to, as she sees it, the immediately successive events of growing old and dying. It’s amazing how such a new little mind of her age grasps these ideas so well, with only a few oddities thrown in, like how she thinks when you grow old, you should get small again like a baby.

Then she says, “Daddy, I need the magic bread so I don’t die.”

Daddy: “What magic bread, sweetheart?”

Daughter: “The one at Church, silly! With Jesus in it. So I can live forever.”

Daddy: “Oh! Yes, you’re right.”

We’ve explained to her, as we did again, that we all have to die, but it’s alright. Jesus brings us back again.

Daughter: “But there’s not enough room in our house! Can Jesus stay with us?”

Daddy: “Of course, honey! there will be plenty of room for everyone. In fact, Jesus staying with us is the reason we can come back.”

When it gets too complicated, she usually heavy sighs, head in hands and finalizes it with, “But, I just don’t want to die.”

Neither do I, sweetie. We weren’t made to die. And though we have the hope of the resurrection, the great unknown still scares me.

I wish that I could stop all the painful little realities of life from affecting my babies. I have hope to offer them, but there is so much difficulty that they will go through before they see it. What more, although I wish it weren’t necessary, I wouldn’t stop the pains of life for them if I could. Adversity is good for them, shaping them into better people, which is more important than living an easy, pleasant life. Which is also why God the Father allows us to make our own messes. We’re on Earth for a reason. From beginning to end, we change, which could mean our eternal salvation or eternal damnation. At least my daughter has already figured out that her recourse is to Christ in the Eucharist. Beautiful, with a tinge of sadness.

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9 Responses to From the Mouths of Babes

  1. lenetta says:

    Beautiful with a tinge of sadness indeed! I have been looking back on some painful things in my life (mainly the lack of spiritual unity in our household) and I realize how much God has used that pain to prune me spiritually and prepare me for lots of new growth. I see so many ways for me to cast my cares upon Him that I never noticed before. While it sure sucked at the time, I now know that I was being polished, gold tested in fire, etc. Of course, there’s a lot of polishing left to be done, and I probably won’t recognize it for what it is until I’m on the other side again. But a little progress is still progress!

  2. cyurkanin says:

    Wow, Stacey, I haven’t seen a post like this here before. I like it!

    I’ve had the same conversation with Cezanne numerous times but not yet with Cecilia. It IS sweet and sad.

  3. Stacey says:

    How does Cezanne take it, Christopher? Does it get any easier as they get older?

  4. Stacey says:

    Lenetta,
    I’m thinking the same thing about me. I’ll not realize the benefits of struggles until after they happen. I’m actually looking forward to getting old because of that. Does that sound stupid? Since seeing the emotional angst of my youth passed, I can look forward to an even better state of being in the future. After all, I’m still young. Lots to learn yet. I wonder if I’ll look back on a lot of these vehement convert blog posts of mine as missing the point and overzealous when I’m older. Just wondering, btw, are you going to get the Great Heresies for your Hubs?

  5. lenetta says:

    I seem to have traded the emotional angst of my youth for, umm, emotional angst of my early 30s? :>) Live and learn, and we’re doing plenty of both!

    I’m still on the fence about the book for Hubs. (And I need to get the heck off of said fence since his birthday is SATURDAY.) The Reformation books would be of great interest to him, too, I think… I was briefly tempted to get him all three books as Amazon had a deal where you could get the 2 Ref’ books and the Great Heresies for $30, but then I remembered I just gave him five books for Christmas. And he doesn’t have all that much time for reading. :>)

  6. cyurkanin says:

    Sorry for the delay, no, it hasn’t really gotten any easier. She does focuses less on it now than before. There was a period of about a year that she couldn’t get it off of her mind. Cezanne is an exceptionally sensitive and thoughtful girl (unlike her little sis, who has her own traits, sensitivity not one of them) so I think her difficulties don’t necessarily apply to most kids. She’s going to be the suffering kind, which also means daddy will suffer right along with her.

  7. Stacey says:

    I fear Isabel will suffer like Cezanne. She thinks about things that most adults don’t bother about, and even worries whether or not baby dinosaurs who died will go to heaven. The slightest things affect her deeply. Her emotional throws remind me of how the Little Flower describes herself in The Story of a Soul. I only hope Isabel and Cezanne, like Therese, will find peace in Christ.

  8. cyurkanin says:

    Yipes, sounds all too familiar. Amen.

  9. […] The topic of death, heaven, and the resurrection often comes up in our house, because of my daughter’s recent obsession with death and afterlife. My mom came to visit us yesterday, like she does every week, and the conversation was steered by […]

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