Wednesday, February 06, 2008


As I mentioned in a previous entry, Sam has entered a whole new stage of understanding and logic, and it has made for some great conversations between us. It also makes for frequent misunderstandings.

For example, the other day Sam was doing something that he would soon need my help with. I knew Levi and Nate would be waking up from their naps momentarily, so in an effort to hurry Sam along I told him, "in a few moments I'm going to be occupied with two babies. Are you ready for my help yet?"

A few minutes later, as predicted, Levi woke up. I was in the middle of changing his diaper when Sam called in from another room, "Mommy, what's an octopi?"

"It is more than one octopus. Where did you hear it used?"
"You said you would be octopi with two babies."

Last week we were all in the car when I saw lights from emergency vehicles ahead. I mentioned it to Sam, thinking he would be interested in seeing police and firemen at work. As we got closer, I said, "I think there has been an accident." Sam responded, "Was it a pee pee accident?"

Then there are the larger issues, the life lessons that are so hard to comprehend. In school, Sam's class is learning about counting. They have been learning nubers up to 100 and practice counting as a class. So out of the blue the other day he asked me, "What is the last number?" I had no idea what he meant, but after talking about it a bit ("Is it 10? Is the last number 100? I think it is.") I explained that there is no last number, but that you could go on counting forever. This was unsatisfactory. Ah, the beginning of wrestling with the concept of eternity.

And speaking of eternity, there is that whole thing about death which he asks very pointed questions about since our fish, Yellow Fred was found belly-up. He has asked what happens when you die, and we've explained that if you are a friend of Jesus you will go to heaven. So the other day he said, "If you got eaten by a bear and died, how would you get to heaven? Would someone have to cut open the bear?" Good question. Do I really want to introduce him to the concept of a spirit vs. body, which I know will bring with it a whole slew of more hard questions? Whew, it's like Pandora's box!

Along a similar vein, we've talked a lot about how God makes each person. With Nate's arrival we've also talked about how a baby grows inside a mommy's tummy until it is born. So his question was, "How did God get inside your tummy to make me?"

Probably most 4 year olds ask similar questions, but I have to admit that his curiosity and effort to understand these grown-up concepts make me proud. I am challenged by it, yet I find the effort it takes me to answer his questions in ways that are helpful to him is a fantastic way to exercize my brain, which sometimes feels like it has lain dormant inside my head for the past few years.

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