Dear Dave

Friday 8 February 2008

That would be an ecumenical question...

Dear Dave,

When this housedad existence is over, all the kids are grown up and I no longer have any purpose in life, I'll probably have to find a job or something. By that point, of course, I will be a withered husk of my former self with out-dated qualifications and atrophied skills. On paper, my employability will be severely compromised. I'm not too worried, though. If I can blag my way to an interview, then I should be fine. I'll have had years of practice answering unexpected and awkward questions in high pressure situations. Nothing will phase me. After all, what could compete with being asked (loudly) on the bus, 'Why is that man so fat?' or being interrogated in the playground as to how exactly the baby-seeds get from the daddy to the mummy? In comparison, sitting in an office and having to answer some nonsense about what I can contribute should be a breeze. I'm reasonably confident of talking my way into senior management within a couple of weeks. That, or PR rep for British Nuclear Fuels, anyway.

Yep, I have to deal with difficult questions all the time. Lewis has an insatiable thirst for knowledge, no desire to think things through for himself and a complete lack of tact. Fraser is becoming intrigued by the mechanical details of baby production. Marie, meanwhile, has taken an interest in theology.

Fraser was the same at her age, asking all kinds of questions like 'Where is God?', 'What's he made of?' and 'Will I get to play computer games in heaven?' We were impressed until we realised that he was timing these questions at twenty-eight minutes past seven in the evening and his main aim was to avoid going to bed. This was still impressive in its own way but nowhere near as gratifying. Marie, however, seems to be looking more for a good doctrinal debate. She's equally uninterested in what we have to tell her but is keen to share her own theories with us.

Recently, she's been wandering around with a pink, sparkly teddy bear. "This is my toy Jesus," she says, holding it out in front of her and then letting go. "She likes being dropped."

Strangely, she doesn't get to take this particular bear to church.

A pink, sparkly bear.
The Messiah (as imagined by a three-year-old girl).

Then she picks up the bear again and says, "The real Jesus is inside." It's hard to disagree, since, technically, God is everywhere.

Well almost everywhere, apparently:

Sarah is taking the boys to Aberdeen for the weekend soon. Marie isn't too thrilled at the prospect of staying home with me. She demonstrated this to Sarah the other day. "God is here! He's in our house!" Marie shouted excitedly. Then her eyes narrowed and she muttered, "When you go to Aberdeen, he won't be there. He's going to stay here with me."

Does this say more about her understanding of God, I wonder, or about her knowledge of Aberdeen?

Hmmm... That's maybe one question I won't answer...

Yours in a woman's world,


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