Friday, March 23, 2007

as it is in heaven

In this household - the Fatty/Jelly household - there are differing views as to the existence or otherwise of heaven. It is a topic we generally leave alone; Fatty and I agree to differ. In fact, neither of us are entirely sure of our beliefs and thoughts on the matter, so it is easy to not only respect, but even understand, the other's point of view.

The arrival of children, who are now old enough to ask questions about God/heaven/hell and the like, has made things a little trickier. A little trickier, but not too tricky. We answer the questions by saying, "Well, Mummy believes that......., but Daddy believes that...........". We inform them, "Some religions believe .............., and some believe........". Our children seem to accept this. I sometimes think it could even be a good thing. Laura and Benjamin will never be told didactically, This is how it is. They will form their own opinions over time.

It amuses me to hear how these two children have then taken this mish-mash of parental instruction, and come up with some concepts of their own. Laura thinks heaven has invisible gates, and that people sit around on clouds. Ben thinks heaven involves dessert for every meal. Both kids are quite keen on the concept as a whole.

Last night, Laura, who tends to be more contemplative on the subject, commented, "I wish I would nearly die - then I could see heaven, but I'd still be alive." My throat felt tight for a moment. I wished fervently and silently that Laura's wish would remain unfilled for many years to come. Laura burbled on, adding, "You know - how some people who get very, very sick get to see heaven, then come back? I heard that it can happen". Fatty was answered that yes, there were people who believed they had seen heaven, who had almost died but then been revived. Laura nodded. "Yes, that's what I'd like to do". I resisted the urge to say, "No, no, no, NO you don't". Fatty and I met each others' gaze. The mood at the kitchen table was a tad sombre, to say the least.

Thankfully, our other child is less interested in the spiritual significance of heaven, and more interested in toilet humour. Just when I couldn't stand another minute of 'heaven talk', Benjamin came to my rescue, offering this thought on the matter:

"Laura, you have to do lots of farts to take off to heaven".

I'd just like to clarify that this is a belief held solely by my son.


Motherkitty said...

Ah, your children are approaching the difficult years -- not difficult for them, but for you as parents to come up with logical answers to their probing questions about such issues as religion and sex. Being physicians, I'm sure you probably have encountered situations that might be inexplicable in the modern realm of philosophy and religion. Explaining to your children about heaven and death might be as easy as explaining UFOs. I'm glad I'm finished answering those questions. When the grandkids start asking why, why, why, I will have the pleasure of referring them right back to mom and dad.

Redneck Mommy said...

Sadly, this is a topic of much debate around these parts, and all of us, even my kids have different ideas.

I just know I couldn't bear the thought of not seeing my boy again, so I will gladly cling to the heaven idea.

Even if I have to fart my way to the pearly gates.

thisisme said...

I think heaven is a hard one to explain at the best of times, and I can understand Laura wanting to see it so she can get the concepts into perspective, but there are some things that you just don't want to think about your children doing. Thank goodness for Benjamin.

Alice said...

I like the way your children think of heaven in such a matter-of-fact sort of way. This will surely generate more conversation in a natural sort of way ... not sure if you and Fatty really want this

TUFFENUF said...

As they get older is gets more difficult to explain religion. My son has views of his own; different that mine - but then I have always encouraged him to be a free thinker.

meggie said...

I have always let our children have their own ideas about it all.
I laughed at your son...little boys seem to feel gas is the answer to so many of life's problems.. perhaps it is.
I think I am with Redneck Mommy on this. I have to think that somehow I will see my loved ones again.

Val said...

"Laura, you have to do lots of farts to take off to heaven".

It's just such gems that remind me of why I am happy that I had two sons rather than daughters. Although as they get older (early 20s), the toilet humor is not quite so charming, especially when they have fart contests and provide running commentaries and shouts of appreciation for "winners"...

I don't think you have to worry about your daughter's comments, Jelly.

shellyC said...

Oh how funny - I know a few people who will have no problem getting to heaven then!!!

We too have conversations that start with "This is what Mummy & Daddy believe .....however other people believe....."

John Cowart said...

So that explains it!

I've always wondered how it is that when Christ returns we will leap to meet Him in the air.

We'll blast off like Bullet Man (a super hero from my youth who flew with a jet pack on his back).

No wonder so many people say we Christians are full of hot air.

Apparently, there's a good reason for that. I just hadn't heard it explained that way before.

Remiman said...

Thank God for Ben! (Free association Right-brained Thinking)

Did I just thank...who? Oh well.
I think heaven can be a place you retire to when you've done all your chores here in this world. If you take a peek before it's time and then come back you might not want to finish the chores here. Better to wait 'til you're really really old to go peek!
I told my kids That god was a concept, an idea; and people along time ago gave a name to this concept so we could relate easier. God's job is to teach us how to be nice to each other.
'Tis one of the many trials of parenthood. Glad you and Jelly respect each others struggles.

Kerri said...

Laura is quite the little thinker, isn't she? Sounds like you have some interesting conversations in the Fatty/Jelly household.
Three cheers for Ben who unwittingly lightened the "heavy" conversation. It's hilarious what comes out of the mouths of babes :)
Now I've got this perky little song on my brain that I used to sing with my Sunday School kids: "Heaven is a wonderful place". Thanks Jelly!

Mimi said...

Great discussion with your kids and great answers! We go through much of the same here. It is human to want to know more and like many of your readers I would be too sad to think it all ends here.


Sandy said...

The kids dad and I had a difference of opinion on heaven & especially God. I told the kids what I believed and they were free to make up there own minds. Thankfully I think they made a wise choice.
I really do love Ben's idea of heaven, but I think it's dessert first...just like it is here. Or maybe even better...nothing but dessert.

I really hate to let out this little secret but, when I eat all my veggies Jimmy would probably agree that I could probably fart all the way up to heaven. Don't forget that doctor/blogger confidentiality thing and tell anyone now!!!

Molly said...

It must be a universal boy thing!