Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Methuselah and Other Best-Loved Children's Stories

I'll be back soon with more substantive posts, including one about observing Easter weekend on the road. I have a lot on my plate right now and need some time to rest. In the meantime, you're always up for a Calvin story, aren't you?

Calvin is really into numbers lately, I mean REALLY into numbers. He is in a constant question asking stage, and almost all of his questions have to do with numbers, ages, weights, sizes, addition, and subtraction. Here is a typical string of questions. Imagine my (not-so) patient answers in between.

"What is 700 plus 700?...What is 99 minus, take away 72?...How big will I be when I am 27?...Will I be bigger than this house?...Will I be too big?...Will I live to be 27?...Why do you hope I will live that long?...Why do you love me?...What is 55 plus 55?...Will I live to be 110?...Why not?...I don't want to die before Jesus comes back, will I?"

Now imagine that all day long, over and over and over again. If you have toddlers or preschoolers, you understand.

Anyway, one day recently, in the midst of these questions, Calvin asked me if there was anything in the Bible about people's ages. I picked up a Bible and began reading Genesis 5, thinking he would quickly get bored and go play. I should have known better. The kid was enthralled.

"Wow, 912 years! That's a LOT!"

I have since had to read that passage at least three times. Don't get me wrong, I am all about Calvin learning from Scripture and being excited about the Bible, but I am struggling vainly to see what he can possible learn from this passage, other than some complicated arithmetic. Now what will we be onto next? Some of Matthew's "begats"? A little Levitical law? Measurements for the building of the temple? Really, who needs Noah's ark or David and Goliath when you have Methuselah.

1 comment:

SF Mom of One said...

Hey, what's wrong with learning some complicated arithmetic?
But, even better, here's it's expressed in a continuity of relationships. One man lives, has a son, keeps living and then dies. That son is also a man and...

That ongoing series is important--a mathematical concept, but also for your preschooler developing an understanding of his place in the chain.

Don't you think?