Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

666 and the Convenience of Heaven

It’s funny those folks making comments about today being 06/06/06 in regards to the number of the (B)beast. We needn’t get into rants about the Caesarian calendar, the fact that it’s 06/06/07 in places on the other side of the world, and DaVincian mysteries where the world of non-fiction becomes fictionalised to comment on a great work of fictional non-fiction culminating salvation with fertile rabbits and generous pipe smoking obese sleigh men.

Last evening did prove interesting for me along theological lines. My nearly four year old daughter was being awkward about talking on the telephone with her Grandmother. I told her that she should talk with her because “Grandma was going into the hospital tomorrow and you need to tell her to be brave”. After succeeding in my Machiavellian parenting tactics, my daughter began asking questions about “why Grandma is going to the hospital”. I had to explain that Grandma had cancer and had to have her breasts removed and was starting chemotherapy as my daughter continued her inquisition on the subject. Inevitably death came into the equation, spreading to questions of my wife and my mortality as well as my daughter’s.

I was not prepared for such a discussion (which took place during the first period of the Oiler’s first game of the Stanley Cup finals!). It would’ve been so simple to answer queries on death with “Heaven” and “angels”. But then I asked myself, do I really want to tell my daughter these things? I tell her about Santa and the Easter Bunny without the sense that I’m going to cause considerable conflict as she grow older. But the balance of mortality and how awful that might seem to a toddler versus the temporary belief in angels and Heaven is a tedious one. In the end, I resolved to give my daughter the straight goods, working in subtle things like the importance of good nutrition, exercise and loving people, and feel good in doing so.

In all honesty, there’s simply no preparation in the curveballs parenting can throw your way!


  • At 11:54 a.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    welcome back to your site. we find you coping with the impossible task of communicating effectively with a near-four-year-old. life and death and disease are hard to discuss and i do not remember what i thought when i was 4. we did not have a disease to discuss with our daughter then. now we have had death and disease and faith in a university students' world of questions. she makes up her own mind now. when she was two to five she asked a parade of questions like that, which would have sent aesop to writing more morals and hillel to pull out more hair and the buddha to sit longer beneath a bo tree. better than hockey though? sudden death overtime averted by mental lapse. i wish it were more comforting to say as daughters get older, they ask fewer questions and keep more to themselves. when they are bullied at school and encounter the doubts of cynics, they don't ask you why. maybe when they are older and they think you know the answers, they come back and ask later, when they are 21 or so. answer questions with more open-ended questions for now and listen to her answers... the cockroaches in the walls survive by listening a lot... nodrog anon the c.r. in the grierson hill hedge wall...

  • At 8:45 a.m. , Blogger Real-E said...

    So much of that "making up of their own minds" depends on what we do when they are young. I know that we must teach our children what we, as parents, think to be right, but the desire to lay an ideological framework also pushes the individual into a particular way of thought. Hence a child raised Mormon or Muslim is more apt to carry on down that road...

    My wife just returned from a weekend in Los Angeles where she saw Bruce Springsteen perform at the Greek Theatre. To quote him:

    "Everything dies baby that's a fact
    bust mabey everything that dies some day comes back
    Put your makeup on and do your hair up pretty
    And meet me tonight in Atlantic City."


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