Friday, September 3, 2010


Since little kid was always lamenting that last year's 1 hour a week "school" was far too long and because he says inappropriate things on a near constant basis, I was fairly certain that he was not ready for pre-k. I feared for the Lutherans and for the potential embarrassment that would come when they would need to confront me about his behavior.

But (so far) I was wrong! Not only is little kid mature and respectful at school, he loves it. Every day he asks me if he's going to school and every single day while I'm tying his shoes he tells me, "You's a good mumum for gettin' me to a school." He usually thanks me on the way there for taking him, too. He has a zillion nameless "best friends" and I can tell by the way the teachers smile when they see me that they love him.

(And no, it's not a "Ha! Do I know things about you..." sort of smile, it's always a "You and I both know this is one cool little dude" type of smile.)

It's really nice.

He's also becoming a devout little Christian. He loves when they go to church and shows me how quietly they talk and how he sits with his hands on his lap. I asked if they talk to God there and he says they haven't met him yet, so far it's just some other guy who talks a lot.

He brings home Bible verses and insists that his favorite book is "God's Book for Childrens" (aka the Bible). I really thought it was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It is very sweet that he enjoys it so much though and it makes me smile to hear him talking about God's greatest love. He recently asked me what God's son's name is again and why he had to die for us. I've never understood that part of the story, so I told him to ask his teachers.

The other day he came home and very solemnly told me that the devil smiles when you lie. I've got to admit, I felt really uncomfortable when he said this. It made me get goosebumps and I felt momentarily speechless. I just said "Lying is bad" and left it at that. It seems like a bizarre thing to tell a group of preschoolers to me.

I knew that with him attending a Christian preschool that some awkward (for us) stuff may come up and I was okay with it. Hell, Big Kid attended a Jewish Temple preschool and we loved the entire experience, including all of the holidays. I like my kids being able to try different things and make their own choices down the line, or at least gain a greater sense of acceptance of others.

But the devil thing creeped me out. I want my children to be good for goodness' sake, not for fear of some evil, gnarled, horned being slinking around in the shadows waiting to snatch them up over a lie. I want my kids to become good people so their lives will be satisfying, without heaven or the fear of hell being the carrot on a stick that motivates them.

Eventually little kid became preoccupied with the devil, asking what he looked like, if you could talk to him like you could talk to God, if he was a nocturnal animal, what would happen if you wrote him a note to tell him that you didn't want to ever be his friend, and how we know that God is the good guy and the devil is the bad guy. What if God is the bad guy and part of his plan is to make the devil look bad?

It was becoming a freaking philosophical nightmare around here.

He came home from school on Friday and asked me if the devil talks to animals. "Why?" I asked, feeling very alarmed.

"I'm 'fraid the devil's gonna take Murphy for peein' in a house," he answered, looking worried.

"I don't believe in the devil." I answered (while kind of wishing that the devil would come take Murphy for peeing in the house), feeling fed up with this topic of conversation.


"I don't think there is a devil. There's not some big bad guy out there in charge of all of the bad things in the world just waiting to make people be bad."

"How comes my teatsers say there is?"

"Different people believe different things. You know how there is good in the world and how there is evil in the world? Kind of like Batman and Joker, one is good and one is evil, right? Well, the people that want to be on God's team work together to try to make good things happen. The devil is just a pretend character that represents the bad things in the world and the bad feelings that make you want to do bad things. You have to fight against those bad things so that good always wins. Know what I mean? There's not some bad guy you're going to punch, you're just going to do your best to always do the right thing and to be kind to others and to not lie because you want to be on the good guys' team, making good things happen so the world can be a good place for everyone. You can believe whatever you want, but that's what I think."

"I wanna believe in no devil, too."

He looked so relieved. I'm sure he'll disrupt the class with his new found belief, but it's better than me having to talk about the devil all of the damn time.

So, other than our brief Satan infestation, school is going surprisingly well and is bringing little kid even closer to the "God, guns and the good ol' U.S. of A" kind of guy I'm pretty sure he'll grow up to be.

Plus, it gets him out of the house for 3 hours a day and that's a true blessing.


Bren said...

Our daughter goes to a "christian" daycare and is always singing songs about God etc. It is really very cute. Luckily there has been no "devil" talk around here - just the usual 3 year old worries about monsters.

Kathie said...

My DD is going to the Lutherans this year as well. She came home last week and told me, "If we eat God's fruit, we'll die". Apparently that's what she took from the Adam and Eve story, lol. I told her that's a story that some people believe and asked her if she can still eat the fruit in our refrigerator and she said yes, so apparently she's not too scarred.

Jennifer said...

My BFF's daughter goes to Catholic school. They had the lesson of Adam and Eve and my friend asked her what she learned. She responded, "I learned that if you say naked at school you get in trouble."

Doodles said...

I love to let my kids experience different cultures and religions. I am glad I am not the only one.

My 6 year old is very interested in God and Jesus right now so we read the kids bible that she has at night and she loves it. I have to say I love being able to feed their curiousity.

Anonymous said...

Don't you know ther ain't no devil, that's just God when he's drunk.

Tom Waits


Jacquie said...

Wow this made goosebumps on my arms too.. my fiancee wants them to go to the christian academy he went to but I am iffy on it..

Anonymous said...

haha Jennifer! I don't know if it's the booze talking here but you're little comment just made me c.t.f.u!!

(crack the fuck up)


Anonymous said...

L Kid is just like my Masta Max. When he was about 7 he decided to stop using punctuation at school because he said you didn't need it. So I made him write me a paragraph every night from a prompt. One day I gave him "The trap door in my bedroom leads to..." His response was that it went to hell and he was responsible for keeping evil out of the world. Just thought you might like to know whats coming... I'll fill you in on the anti-government flyer he distributed at catholic school when he was 9 later.

Former Fat Chick said...

oh, Masta Max must be related to mine...oh dear, as a former EVIL child, rabble rouser and total ring leader, I am sure I am mostly responsible for the devil peeing in his pants, not just smiling. Ash, we can only pray little kid continues his experiment with being a good boy at school, but not really as a reader.

Joy said...

Abby went to had her first encounter with christian schooling this summer when she did vacation bible school-let me tell ya she was hilarious she still talks about the "school that is run by God" that she went to. Just the other day she told someone she went to God's school:)

Lilian said...

You're sooooo what I want to be when I grow up:) Seriously. You're probably the most tolerant person evah. I'm seriously toying with the idea of taking my kid to the most secular school out there. Probably to counter the fact that right now we listen to the most intolerant radio station ever. And yes, we do that so's I can be filled with rage

Unknown said...

Lilian, I'm not quite so tolerant day-to-day. Most people annoy the shit out of me, but having kids and seeing how clueless they are about race/religious/economic/political divides makes me realize how important it is to live and let live and to try to at least appreciate where the other side is coming from. I'm trying to make it so that my kids can keep some of the cluelessness they came with, even if it means celebrating Purim or rolling my eyes at the devil when they're not watching.

Kerry, I'm thinking it's a lot like living with the crazy homeless guy from the bus stop who believes he's engaged in a personal war against satan. Good times!