Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ugh, coughing, sniffles. Not feeling well at all.

Thoughts on Easter: So, when I was growing up, Easter was all about hot cross buns, an easter egg hunt and a big meal to round things off. I have a vague recollection of picture book with a big rock beign rolled away to expose an empty cave with some gauze/bandaids in it.

This year, the girls did all that AND received gifts. Wrapped gifts! There were ribbons, gift bags and tissue paper! Very kind of the gifters, but I'm not sure about this turning Easter into Xmas. Is this a trend in my family only or do you see it happening as well? Being a non-religious family, it is always tricky at Christmas to explain the meaning of Christmas, receiving gifts, etc. but we do our best to explain the whole thing. Now, Easter is a whole new thing to explain. Even if we were religious, how do you explain Easter to the 7 and under crowd? Death is not a topic I choose to explore much, the girls' imaginations don't need the baggage right now.

That brings me to Grace. Walking around my parents back yard yesterday, we showed her the little gravestone where we buried our family dog, McDuff. He died in 2001. She immediately wanted to dig the body up. The more we talked about letting the departed rest, the more frantic she became. We explained that he would only be bones now - this piqued her curiosity even more. I told her I would find photos of, um, decomposed dog remains on the internet. Nope, she wants the real thing. Dying of curiosity (excuse the pun) to see the real thing. What an odd little girl she can be.

Cue to bedtime. Grace and I have a cuddle before I say goodnight. I usually allow her one last question before I go. The questions ranges from can she have a glass of water to what we are doing the next day. Last night's question? If McDuff's body was still underground, does that mean he didn't go to heaven? (Even though non-religious we rely heavily on happy ideas like Heaven). Have you ever tried to explain the notion of spirits/souls crossing over and leaving our bodies behind to a kid? I don't think I did a very good job because she woke up at 2:00 a.m., unable to turn off her brain.

I wish kids would pose questions like a professor poses essay questions. I would have two weeks to think about it and turn in a decent answer instead of the garbage I spew out sometimes.


XUP said...

Instead of tying yourself into knots about all these questions, why not just be honest. You can simplify the truth so a youngster can understand it, but if you start making up stuff and/or telling them happy stuff that you don't even believe in, one day you're going to have to UNexplain it. There's nothing wrong with telling them the religious basis for Xmas and Easter, saying some people believe that and celebrate it because of it AND telling them all the other stories about why people have celebrations that time of year from other religions' beliefs to pagan beliefs.It makes for a bunch of fun stories. Then they'll ask you what you believe and you'll tell them and then they'll probably say they believe that too, or maybe they'll enjoy one of the other stories more.

~*Jobthingy*~ said...

hmm.. see speedy doesnt really ask much.. not in depth questions anyways

so basically i have no grace questions to answer

The Maven said...

We have two who ask an insane amount of deep questions like that. I normally just tell them what I figure I would have understood at that age. It's never perfect. I can't prevent all the bad dreams and all the worry. I can just try and provide them with the knowledge that I'll be honest with them and here for them if they need me.

The death question is probably the hardest next to the 'why do you have to be in love to have sex? And what if I'm in love now?' type questions. Oh my.

alison said...

I've said the following to Leah when she's asked something that I don't want to answer in just the 5 minutes I have at that time due to dropping them off at school/rinsing the shampoo off/turning off the light at bedtime.

"That's a really good question, and I want to think about how to answer before we talk about it."

She accepts it, and it gives me some time to think about how I want to talk to her about it.

Nat said...

We do brutally honest. No heaven. No God. Messaging goes like this: We don't believe in Christianity or God, but we celebrate Christmas to show appreciation for those people with love (with an exchange of high-end electronics.)

Easter, we explain as a fun tradition, then we explain the resurrection of Jesus as legend or a myth. (But to be respectful ...) It may or may not have led to a conversation about the best way to ward off zombies if you don't have a shotgun.

However, I am going to use Alison's answer next time. Love that.