When our collective batteries died, we retreated to the back yard for marshmallows and phone cords. Doodle Bug and Child #3 were playing in the lawn and I was keeping an ear on their conversation. Table for Eight's children had just finished their Vacation Bible School for the summer and were full of Jesus love. Kudos to them for raising their children in their desired faith, however Doodle Bug has had previous encounters with preaching children and gotten very confused. So, I was admittedly eavesdropping on tweens.
#3 was telling my son about Heaven and Hell. She was insistent that he was going to Hell. Doodle Bug simply shrugged and told her "That's not a real place."
POW! Score one, for my boy.
#3 refuted this and asked him about Heaven. "It's imaginary," was his reply. #3 was frustrated by this and I could see her considering that perhaps her special friend didn't understand her words. She asked if he'd ever known someone who died. He assured her that his kitty had died last year. She told him that didn't count because, animals don't get to go to heaven.
"Why not? That's dumb. My kitty will be waiting for me." Doodle Bug loves his pets.
BAM! Score two.
#3 did not have a response for him, so they moved on. Doodle Bug offered up that his father (biological) had died 3 years ago and his great-grandmother had died 2 years ago. That was an acceptable answer for #3, who replied, "Okay. They're in Heaven, then."
"Nope. My Dad is in a star. He's with our God. And guess what? It's a girl."
BOOM! Score three.
#3 couldn't comprehend that. She boasted about her family members in Heaven with "the real God.". She described how happy her whole family will be one day when they are all together again. And I have to say, good for her. She truly believes in this and it brings her peace. Children should have that.
So, I wandered closer to the adults and mentioned to my best friend that she should come hear what our children were talking about. I described their conversation and she said that she was so proud to hear her child preaching. I told her that I was blown away by my son's answers as I am never quite sure what sticks and what doesn't. We walked back, two proud mothers, happy in our ability to raise aware children and still get along.
Did I mention that Table for Eight had recently switched churches? They changed to one within walking distance. They hadn't been there for a service yet, but had been asked by a neighbor if their children would like to attend the free bible study that week. Driven crazy by the sheer number of children at her home in the summer, my friend had readily agreed to let someone take them to church for 3 hours a day. After all, it was a church. What could go wrong?
Well, as we approached, #3 was talking about the Rapture.
There will be no more nighttime and
no more black people and
the world will be perfect."
Both of our jaws dropped.
My friend rushed to lecture her child, "Black people get to go to heaven, too!" Meanwhile, I asked Table for Eight's patriarch if they knew exactly what their children had been learning at this new church all week.
Pro tip: don't let someone else head up your child's religious education.