Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lunchtime Conversation

Calvin has always been a talker, and his conversations are becoming invaluable to me as a way to gain insight into that amazingly complicated brain of his. I'm not sure what this one revealed, but I wanted to record it before I forgot it. I had just finished telling Calvin to please eat with his fork, not his hands. His space obsession continues, and we have regular adventures to Pluto, where we always interact with the Plutonians.

"Mommy, Plutonians eat with their hands and open their mouths to show their food. They also put spikes on their doors to put away their clothes. That's not an appropriate way to set up a home. We need to teach them the right way. They are doing a bad thing"

(Here is where I try to teach some Intercultural Communication skills and instill the virtue of observing before passing judgment in another culture.) "Well, maybe on Pluto eating with hands is considered polite. And maybe they have the spikes up for a good reason, like to keep monsters away from their houses."

"No, mommy, they have spikes all over their doors and walls because they don't like earth people."

"Well maybe they are just afraid of us because they don't know us. We need to show them that we are nice and nothing to be afraid of."

"Well, mommy, they don't love God. They just love each other."

"Honey, God tells us that he is the source of love. Even if people don't realize it, when they love each other, they are loving God."

"Well, what about people who don't know about God? Some people don't know that Jesus is his son. We need to tell them."

"That's a good idea, Calvin."

"But what if people think God is a made-up story? God is everywhere, all over the world. That's a very hard thing to believe. No man or woman can be everywhere all over the world at the same time, so that's a hard thing to believe about God."

"That's true, honey. Believing in God is not always easy."

(Now we hit the sudden topic shift that eventually makes sense. This is common in Calvin-ese.) "Guns are not an appropriate way to deal with anger, not even pretend ones."

"That's right. What is an appropriate way to deal with anger?"

"Just go to your room and be by yourself."

"That's a good idea."

"But God is angry at the Plutonians because they have spikes on their doors."

"No, honey, God doesn't get angry about things like that. Do you know what really makes him angry? When people hurt each other, especially when people hurt weaker people, like children."

"Do you know what makes God most angry? When people hurt babies or kill them. (A note, we have never discussed abortion or the pro-life/pro-choice debate in front of this kid. He just came up with that.) But God doesn't stop loving people just because he is angry."

"That's true."

"God is really powerful. The most powerful. And he has a plan. Do you know what one of his plans is?"


"His plan is to turn the bad guys into good guys."

"That's right. How can he do that?"

"He can turn the bad guys into good guys with just his voice. He must have a really powerful voice to be able to do that. But he won't ever turn good guys into bad guys."

This is not a complete transcript, by any means, but it gets the gist of our conversation. Obviously, I need to work out some colonializing tendencies in my four-year-old. But sometimes he understands more than I do, or at least has a fresh way of putting it. Yep, God's voice, his "Word" must be really powerful indeed. And he is turning all of us "bad guys" into good guys. Even me.


Missy K said...

Um, wow.

Thanks so much for sharing this.

Ellen said...

Do you know the Mr. Roger's song "What Do You Do?" (What do you do with the mad that you feel...) It's a great song, and good to sing together when kids get angry.

evenshine said...

Calvinisms...love it.
Seen those kid tees that say "Calvin is my homeboy"?
Great that you're talking about these things, while still valuing his answers. Smart kid!

Rebekka said...

Wow, he's so cool!

Em the luddite said...

There are certainly some bad guys out there I wish he'd hurry up and change into good guys...

TwoSquareMeals said...

Ellen, thanks for the reminder about that song. I definitely need to teach it to the boys. They used to watch Mr. Rogers every day before lunch until our PBS station shoved him to Saturday mornings at 6:30. I miss him!

For those of you who read this and don't know our Calvin. This is pretty much every day at our house. A brain like that comes with plenty of emotional challenges! It's exhausting.

Farrah said...

I love this!! Calvin is such an amazing kid. I have had similar conversations with Lucas but not on this level... yet. :) I was crying in the kitchen the other day (long story...) and Lucas came up and said "Mommy, we don't need to cry. Jesus loves us and came to save the world."

And yes... it is exhausting. Even more for you than for me, but I think my time is coming too. Love you!