Sunday, January 27, 2008

You can't have everything. Where would you put it? (Steven Wright)

I've been sorting through boxes in my "attic closet" and I came across more stories of my children when they were little. I used to be very good about writing down the cute things that they did or said, and the terrible things that they did to embarrass me, in order to use it in letters to my family. I'd probably get the boxes sorted a lot faster if I didn't keep stopping to read through the piles of paper or to look through all the old photos.

One of my favorite stories occurred when the kids were about 3 and 5. We were in the car, playing 20 (million) questions. It was a favorite game of the kids, mainly because if they played it long enough mommy would get a really funny look on her face and go absolutely nuts. The point of the game was to see how long that would take.

I was a good mommy; honest, I was. I would answer their questions for far longer than was truly humanly possible. I would even give the right answer most of the time. But sometimes the questions...well, I can be forgiven for using a bit of creative license on occasion.

In this particular case, the kids had been asking increasingly silly questions. My youngest had learned in Sunday School that God created the world, and this seemed to fascinate her. She wanted to be sure that she had gotten that fact straight. My son decided to egg her on. As we drove, she asked me if God had really made the things that she saw. She asked about trees, and birds, and clouds, and the flowers, and the grass. And of course my answer was, "Yes, God created all of those things." Then she wanted to know why. "Because H e wanted the world to have beautiful things."

With my son's prompting, she asked about the road, and the cars, and the houses, and airplanes, and light posts. And my answer was, "Yes, God created all of those things by giving people the power to build them." (I knew what my son was up and he wasn't going to get the chance to catch me up that easily.) And again she wanted to know why. So I told her, "Because He wanted us to have the things we needed."

Then, again at her brother's giggling prompting, she asked if God made booggers. So I gave the only possible answer: "Yes, He did. And since I don't know why he made them, we better leave them right where He put them."

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