February 9, 2009

Monday Musings

Because I'm really lax about posting things on Mondays, I'm going to use Mondays as a meme for some issue that's been on my mind this week. We went to a friend's for dinner this weekend and during dinner, my friend Kelly said that her 4 year old daughter had been asking her about what would happen to her "if mommy and daddy go to God." Whoa, that's really heavy stuff! It got me thinking about what I'd say to SoJo if/when he asks that someday.

Mr. Geek and I were talking about it last night, and my thought was that I'd just say that "Mommy and Daddy will be here with you, and don't worry." My reasoning was that there is no need for their little minds to worry over something that may or may not happen, and if it does happen, that would be the time for them to worry over it. What's done is done, and the child would have no choice but to carry on and deal with it (as cruel as that sounds).

My husband was more into the "honesty is the best policy" approach. He practices mindfulness and meditation, so his main philosophy of living is to be full present in each moment (a simple idea that is hard to practice--hence, practice and not mastery). His answer to SoJo would be something along the lines of "Mama and Dada are here with you right now," or "someone will always be there to take care of you. You don't need to worry."

When SoJo asks one day "what happens to us when we die?" my husband will tell him "No one knows for sure." I agree with him on that, since no one really does know. We may believe and have faith in something, but until someone dies and comes back from the dead (I won't even get into my thoughts on reincarnation), we truly don't know. Mr. Geek imagines the following scenario: he is with SoJo in his bedroom, with a globe or the world. He spins the globe and tells SoJo to stop it with his finger. His finger lands on Outer Mongolia.
Mr. Geek asks him, "what is Outer Mongolia like?"
SoJo answers "I don't know."
Mr. Geek: "That's like when we die. I've never been there, so I don't know what it's like. It's a new place to go."

Ok, is this crazy, or completely sane?

My thoughts on above scenario. When SoJo asks me where we go when we die, I say something like, "Where were you before you were born?" He says, "I don't know" and I say that I believe that we go back to that place, wherever, whenever it may be.

Of course who the hell knows what our opinions will be when our son is at the age where he starts asking these questions. I'd like to know what your thoughts are on this issue. Have your kids asked you these kinds of questions? What did you tell them? Or what will you tell them when they do ask?


  1. Bubba has talked about God before...and it always catches me off guard. I agree with your hubby - tell him someone will always be there for him and that you are there now...

  2. Did that family experience a death recently that sparked her curiosity? It amazes me sometimes how inquisitive kids can be about major issues, when they have such a limited understanding of the finite world. You just can't underestimate them I guess!

  3. Honestly, it hasn't really come up that way here. Neither of my boys has come right out and asked...

  4. Obviously that hasn't come up for us yet ... but you have me thinking now. I believe in God, heaven, hell, etc. I think I'm going to ask Mat how he would answer such questions and discuss it with him tonight. Thanks for sparking a little convo!

  5. Roo likes to talk about us dying but she's never asked where she would live if that should occur. More like "can I have all your stuff that you won't let me touch when you die?" Nice.

  6. I had to think about this one. I do not recall any of my children ever asking.

  7. We never had to have the Heavy Duty convo with the kids until their Grandma died. Each processed the news in a different way. Both were awfully sad, but accepted the news. They knew Grandma wasn't coming back, and hoped she was comfortable on her journey.

  8. i like both your answers! we have struggled with this question with EThan, mainly because we are not super religious so we can't give pat answers. Plus, he is very probing and doesn't buy the whole heaven thing anyway. UGH...

    I guess if I knew what would happen I'd have a good answer for him.

  9. It hasn't come up yet for us. So maybe you have a few years.

  10. We had to answer this question and I first explained that different people believe different things. Given that, it was completely acceptable to him to see that mom and dad had different viewpoints.
    Needless to say, they form their own opinion rather quickly.
    I think the important thing is to always make the answer age appropriate.

  11. It came up when the cat died last year. We went with a kind and benevolent god. On a lighter note...I’ve given you an award. Check it out here:


  12. That is a tough one. I think I would reply the same way you would. I would not want my kids to even think about that either.

  13. In various cultures all around the world, it is said that spiritual and moral consciousness comes at age 7. Well, today is my son's 7th birthday (V-Day!), and I am positively exhausted from answering these kinds of questions. He's been asking them for YEARS. Once, when he was 3, he had a conversation with my mom that went like this: D: "Oma, when did pirates live?" O: "Well, D, there are still pirates in some parts of the world, even today." D: "Oh, you only believe in pirates because you believe in Jesus Christ. I mean when did the real pirates live?" Mom gave me that look like "WE NEED TO TALK"... Sometimes I wish I had more concrete beliefs so I could tell my kid what to think... Oh, no wait. The whole point is not being told what to think. Yeah, but it's darn hard explaining this heavy stuff to a preschooler... Good luck! (-:


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