The other day Eamon found a prayer book in the bathroom magazine rack.
Don’t judge. Some people use that time to read “Real Simple” and some people don’t. He brought it to me.
E – “Mom, is this Jesus?” Referring to picture on the front, which is the Sacred Heart one with the big human heart. Not a favorite of mine.
Me – “Yes, that’s Jesus. But I don’t really like that picture of him, there are much nicer pictures in the book. See…..?”
E – Dead serious “Where is he right now?”
Me – “Uh, I think he is in heaven right now.”
E – “Where is heaven?”
Me – “Far, far, away. Why?”
E – “Because I want to see him. NOW.”
Me – Trying to avoid the whole heaven thing – “Look inside the book, there are other nicer pictures of Jesus in the book.”
E – “Can I get in the book too? I want to see Jesus.”
Me – “Umm, you really can’t get inside a book.”
E – Emphatically -”But I need to see Jesus. I need to SEE him, right now.”
Me – “Well bud, you can’t. Because he is in heaven and it is really far away.”
E – “How do I get there?”
Me -Palms sweating, not liking where this is going. “You have to die.”
E -”Then I want to die right now so I can see Jesus.”
Me -Squirming – “But if you die than you can’t come back here. Won’t you miss Daddy and Jonas and me?”
E - Weighing his options – “But I will get to see Jesus, right?”
Me – “Yes, but you can’t come back. Dying is forever. You know when we smash a bug and he never, ever gets up again? That is what happens when you die.”
E – “But if I am dead, I get to see Jesus, right?”
How, I ask you, does one handle these questions? My mother, resident expert on all things Jesus, was entertaining a pool full of people when this happened. So I was totally winging it. Badly. More like broken-winging it.
I tried to explain the whole “Jesus is all around you” thing and he just kept looking all over the room for him, getting angrier all the while.
Then I tried the “If you talk to Jesus, he can hear you, even when he is far, far away in heaven.” Which resulted in a Verizon-esque exchange of “Can he here me now? Right now?” Ending only when he realized that no matter how well Jesus could hear him, Jesus would not answer.
I am not even sure how we finally ended the conversation but I know that the longer it went on the dumber I felt and the more irritated Eamon got with me. And Jesus.
The next day I consulted a few people on what I should have said:
My mom – Her advice was basically all of the stuff I had already tried. She was intrigued by his interest and has decided that he must have a special gift. Helpfullness score – 4 out of 10
My sister Amy – Said the whole dying thing freaked her out and made her think he was having a premonition of his own death. Helpfullness score – Zero out of 10. No, Negative 10 out of 10!!!
Aunt Lorraine – Who has a PhD in all things jesus – Has decided Eamon is going to be a priest. Helpfullness score – 3 out of 10. At least she didn’t predict his imminent expiration (Amy!)
Our (Freaking!) Pastor, who we saw that night at the church carnival and who SURELY would know how to handle these tyopes of inquiries from 3 year olds – And I quote ”Jesus is all around. Ha, hah, ha little guy.” And a pat on the head. Helpfullness score – Zero out of 10.
I am flying blind here. Anyone? Why didn’t he just ask me where babies come from or why Mommy doesn’t have a penis?
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