“Pick it up!” My five-year-old looks at me defiantly and ignores my command. She has a new sleeping beauty trash can in her new room. Never quite grasping the concept, she hates to have trash in the beloved can. She is taking one more crumpled paper from the pink can and is throwing it back on the floor. Furious, I announce: “God help you if you don’t pick it up!”
“What’s God?” Damn! Now? She is asking me this now? Why not follow it up with where do babies come from and why do we have to die?
“God is, you know, God” I eloquently explain.
“Aww, you mean Jesus’s friend?” I never taught her that.
“Um, yeah, that’s one way of putting it, he’s everyone’s friend”.
“I know him”.
“You do?” I’m positively scared now. “Is he a man or a woman?” Might as well ask.
“He’s a man. He has brown hair. He’s a mergency man”.
“A mergency man”. She sighs, exasperated with how dumb I seem to be. “If there is a race, and you are losing, the mergency man knows it’s a mergency, and he comes and pushes you to get there first. You winned”.
“And where is the mergency man now?”
“On Mars. With all the others.” My eyes get rounder. “Hm?”
“He goes to space every night, after he helps all the kids, fixing their stitches in his ‘hopsital’, then he goes to Mars to be with the other Mars people.”
“How does he get down here to help people win races?” I ask, slyly.
“By parachute of course.” Of course.
“Do you like God?” I have to ask.
“Of course I do. He is a very nice dude.”
We are interrupted by my ringing phone.
Up Next: the origins of the Universe.