The Bun, who is five, goes to a Catholic school. He's in kindergarten. When people ask, which they do, I describe it as Religion Lite. They don't delve into very much Catholicism, as in anti-gay marriage and opposition to birth control, which is good as I am not Catholic and am pretty opposed to these policies, which to me are much more political than spiritual. (Disclaimer: I have no problem with him learning about Catholicism, as long as he understands that he has choice and can decide what is "correct" for himself. I expect him to make up his own mind when the time is right, etc., based on knowledge of many religions and not just one.)
I realize you probably think I am a hypocrite and you probably are right.
In any event, what they've covered so far is mostly about kindness (and I'm a big fan of that) and they've touched on Jesus being the son of God*, and about how Jesus was uber-kind. The Bun has a particularly specific type of imagination and I'm pretty sure that I'm not wrong when I say that he thinks Jesus is a Santa-like figure who is really, really nice to everyone and who is in charge of some kind of lever in your heart that flips back and forth between "kind" and "mean". Jesus is always trying to push it to "kind".
He's probably pretty tiny.
The Bun likes Jesus. He's pretty happy about this benevolent guy who just wants him to be nice, damn it, and who operates his heart machinery.
Then, yesterday, we were out with my mum and The Bun mentioned Jesus and my mum said that Jesus was dead and HAD BEEN FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS.
The Bun looked stricken. DEAD?
He cried at bedtime. Dead! Like the dog on that TV show! Which he also cried about for two days!** Like the artist, Tom Thompson! Which he can still cry about when he thinks about it!
A day later, he's still upset. WHY WASN'T HE TOLD ABOUT JESUS?
Jesus, son of the blue, lightning bolt thrower, all-around nice guy, who just wants The Bun to be nice to his sister, is DEAD?
What next? Santa?
Needless to say, he's pretty shaken up.
THANKS, CATHOLIC SCHOOL.
Maybe we should have picked that other school, after all.
Speaking of Jesus, did you see this? There is something about a chorus of voices like this that makes me weepy. I have no idea why. If you haven't seen it, you should take a listen. I'll be at the food court, waiting for someone to stand up and start singing loudly into their cell phone.
*When The Bun started school, I decided to give him a crash course on God so he'd have some idea what his teacher was talking about if the subject came up, which I knew it would. (I'm sure I've blogged this bit before so if it's changed from the first time, I apologize, but I DO write fiction and my memory is crap, but the idea is basically the same.)
I talked for probably half an hour, while he nodded sagely and looked out the window behind me and twiddled his fingers and poked his sister. At the end, I said, "OK, so if someone asks you who God is, what would you say?"
"I don't know," he said.
"Come on," I said. "Just try. Describe God."
"Um," he said. "Well. He's ... blue. He lives in the sky? Like in the clouds? And he ... shoots people with lightning. And he's really big. Like a giant. A GIANT BLUE GUY WHO SHOOTS PEOPLE WITH LIGHTNING."
** And which is another reason why am pretty sure that The Bun is not ready for us to get a goldfish/kitten/puppy, who would one day die, the possibility of which might make him weep for the entire month/decade that the pet was alive.