Hubs: “So we’re going to read a little of the Christmas story before we open presents.”
Three older girls: “Okay Daddy.”
Sarah *the five-year old: “But, but, but… okay.”
Hubs reads the first few lines of Mary’s story from the book of Luke, when an angel comes to her and tells her she’s having a baby. And Joseph takes her to Bethlehem and there was no room in the Inn. Most of you have heard this classic take of the birth of Jesus, so I won’t rehash all the details.
Then Hubs says, “Do any of you have any questions?”
Third Princess: “I just have one: What does the word, ‘union’ mean Daddy, because you read a part that said, ‘Joseph did not have union with Mary,’ or something like that.”
Hubs and I exchange glances. Neither of us expected Christmas morn to turn into a birds and bees conversation. Whatcha gonna do?
After a little throat clearing and ummm’s we had a very general discussion on “sleeping together when you’re married.” I’m talking gen-to-the-eral! Sarah is only five, after all.
Then Sarah, “Is it time to open the presents?”
Hubs, “I meant questions about the story.”
Sarah: “Oh. No.”
Then Princess Number Two: “So why would Joseph want to ‘quietly divorce’ Mary?”
Followed by another very interesting conversation on adultery and divorce and wow, I don’t know how Hubs felt at this point, but I was getting on board with Sarah: “Is it time to open the presents?”
Then the kicker: my twelve-year-old asks, “So you mean that Mary never, well, Joseph and Mary didn’t, you know, and then how did Jesus, well, we learned in health class…And wow! I never noticed that part of the story before.”
Me: “And that’s why we call it a miracle! Time for presents anyone!?!”
This past weekend Hubs decided to dive into the age-old classic story of the Good Samaritan.After a read of the story, once again, Hubs asks, “Any questions?” He has already told all the girls that they should always question what they read. That’s how they’ll become critical thinkers. I like that approach for the girls that Hubs started.
Sarah says in a very serious tone: “What were the robbers’ names?”
I am biting my lip to keep from laughing. I had never thought to ask. It was actually a very good question.
But I know my five-year old well. She’s got the distracter-bug like her mama. She can jump into almost any conversation with a one liner and appear to have been listening the entire time. Then ask her a specific question and she’s busted, just like her Mama!
So I ask, “Sarah, do you remember what happened in the story?”
Sarah: “No. Well, a little.”
Me: “So a guy got hurt.”
Sarah: “Killed! He was killed!”
Me: “Well, not exactly, he was beat up pretty bad. The robbers left him half-dead.”
Sarah: “Right. Half-killed!”
Me: “What does that mean, half-killed?”
Sarah draws an imaginary line across her belly and says, “Cut. Right in half!”
Me: “Ummm. Not sure that’s exactly how hit happened…”
Sarah: “I don’t ever want to be cut in half. That would hurt.”
Me: “Yes. I would have to agree with that.”
As a group we discuss how easy it is to move to the other side of the road and just watch people hurting from a distance. The news. The internet. They all let us get close enough to tragedies that we’re given permission to be emotionally involved but not get our hands dirty, sort-a-speak.
As we close up our morning discussion, Hubs asks the girls, “So who are our neighbors? And how can we help them?”
Sarah: “I hate robbers.”
Okay, we’ve established that the nameless bad guys were bad. Let’s move on, child.
Me: “So what did the Priest do wrong when he walked on the other side of the street?”
Sarah: “He should have filled his bucket.” [*his, meaning the ‘half-dead’ dude]
Me: “What do you mean?”
Sarah: “Instead, he dipped his bucket.”
Me: “‘Dipped his bucket?’”
Sarah: “That’s when you hurt people and don’t help them.” Just one more reason I heart Mrs. F., Sarah’s Kindergarten teacher!
Me: “Makes sense. So what kind of person are you, Beara?”
Sarah: “Well, I filled Addy’s bucket at school one day when she spilled her goldfish. I helped her pick them up.”
Me: “What about you? Has anyone ever filled your bucket?”
Sarah: “Well, one time I knocked my water bottle over and Addy got some paper towels and helped me clean it up.”
Me: “That’s nice.” I think she gets it.
Time for breakfast, anyone?
**How about you? Has a little one inspired or tickled you lately with his or her words? Have you asked yourself lately, “Who is my neighbor?” Do you have a bucket to fill in someone’s life today?