Thursday, June 11, 2009

"Why doesn't God tell you?"

It's always a great way to start the day 15 minutes late for dropping your seven year-old off at school with him yelling, "There is no God!"

Basically we were running late as usual, I had told my first grader to get his socks on, he can usually find a pair of socks on his own without any problems so I thought this was a safe task for him to embark on while I was accomplishing some other morning task. When I walk into his room he is still sockless in his bed sliding under the covers and tells his brother, "Hide!" It is pretty normal for my boys to hide when my wife or I come into an area that we have not been in a while, like when my wife gets home from work, or we have been on separate floors for a few minutes.
Anyway when I see that he has not put on socks or done anything to get himself any more ready to leave for school I start to yell that we do not have time to play we are suppose to leave in six minutes. He says I am not playing, I answer you told your brother to hide and you were starting to hide under the covers that is playing.
He starts to yell
7- I didn't tell my brother to hide!
40-Well it sounded like it, what did you say then something that rhymes with it?
7- I said "hi"
40-No you didn't now you're just lying
7- I'm not lying
40-Let's ask your brother, what did you big brother say?
4- He told me to hide, then ... (some other things that did not actually happen)
7 - He's lying, he lies
40- yeah he does lie a lot, but apparently so do you we both heard you tell him to hide
7- God knows the truth!
40- Yeah he does so you better not lie (If you are familiar with me at all you know my beliefs lay somewhere between Buddhism, Taoism, Jung's Collective Unconscious and Agnosticism but we are raising our boys to be Episcopalian which seems to be the most balanced way for them to come up understanding our culture and social mores and yet be open minded to other world views. Where they take things from there is their own decision.)

Then my son gets hysterical

7 - God knows the truth I didn't say that, why won't he tell you, why doesn't he come down and tell you?
40- That's not how it works
7-Why don't you help me, I don't know if you are even there
40 - That's not what this is about
7- I don't think you're even there, I don't think there is a God, why won't he help me, why won't he tell you, there is no God ...

FUCK, we are more late, my son still isn't dressed, he's hysterical and crying and using pretty sound logic to debunk the accepted Christian concept of God, I heard him say "hide" and so did his brother so I can't just give in. At points like this a parent needs to find a safe out for their kids.
1. Yeah there is no God now put your socks and let's go, quick and to the point but that doesn't work in this context and I don't fully believe that,
2. Okay I'm sorry I miss heard you, no that's not true and teaches him if he freaks out he can get away with anything. What's the middle path here?
3. This is a brief version of how I tried to smooth this out over the course of 15 minutes while getting him dressed for school.
I hugged him, his little brother tries to hug him and he says he's mad at his brother, I told him to not be because he heard the same thing that I did. I told him that the main point of this whole situation is that he was not getting ready for school and did not follow through on a direct order to put his socks on, the whole HIDE issue is secondary, and God does not do everything for us, he gave us free will which means we make our own choices and that means we make mistakes and have miscommunications, if he made us only do what's right and fixed everything for us we'd be like his action figures, all of our actions and interactions would be managed for us and we would not determine our own lives, so even though it is often tough would you want to be like one of your action figures or have free will like you do now? Would you want to be like your action figures?
7- No
40- Well there you go, see this has nothing to do with if there is a God or not, we either miss heard you or you are lying or maybe you do not even know what you said, nothing to do with God. Also sometimes in life people are not going to believe you or it seems like everyone disagrees with you, that does not mean that you are wrong, it is not something to be upset about don't let what other people think control what you think.

I should have also told him if everyone thinks he is wrong he should take another look at the issue because we all are wrong or mistaken sometimes but again do not let what other people think determine what you believe.

This seemed to put his head straight, but we were still super late.


My first grader recently told me that he sometimes misses me so much at school that he goes to the bathroom and cries.
I said you did not do this in kindergarten did you?
Then why this year, what's different.
The day seems so long without nap time.
I can see that

I'm glad he misses me but I do not want him to be sad at school, it makes me wonder if the school environment is nurturing enough, in many cases it seems like they forget that these kids are six and seven years old and that they are just grooming them for the state testing in third grade.
I also wonder about kids who do not have an open dialog with their parents, does that help them to learn to deal with things own their own, make them more mature, or just makes them fucked up trying to understand a world that is complex and often harsh.
I believe I could have talked to my parents about anything when I was little but I for some reason chose not to, not sure if it was that I took the bus home and often did not see them for a few hours after school, so my mind had moved on to other things or if I did not want to bother them.

I have more to say but I am out of steam and do not have the ability to keep things coherent so I will do us both a favor and end here.

Monday, June 08, 2009