One minute Wyatt is a little boy playing in the rocks, getting dirty, reading Curious George books, and driving me crazy with his crying tantrums. The next, he’s asking the deep philosophical questions that leave me wondering, “Where did that come from!?”
While he’s sitting on the potty. On the drive home from Wal-Mart. Moments before bath time. It’s always at a time when my brain is hibernating.
And considering I spend most of my day in a “Don’t stick your fingers in that!!!” defensive mode of conversation, the all-too-abrupt return to the world of intelligent thought leaves me stumbling over my words and wishing I had some crib notes in front of me.
And so it went this evening. The changing of the guard had already taken place as my husband took charge of the children’s bath time routine. I was already on the computer, working on student papers.
Then came the pounding across the kitchen floor as little feet ran my direction. But before I could tell Wyatt to get back in the bathroom, his words stopped my lips.
“Is Jesus love me?”
No time to think of an answer. Short, halting sentences as I weave my way through the truth. “Yes, he loves you very much. He died on the cross for you. But Jesus is alive. Remember? And he flew up into heaven where he now lives with God. And one day he’s coming back to get us and we’ll fly up in the air with him to heaven.”
“But I not have wings.”
Ok…didn’t see that one coming. Quick. Think 3-year-old lingo. “Well, when Jesus comes back, he’ll give us wings to fly up to heaven with him.”
“And he come back for me?”
“Yes, and he’ll take us home to heaven to live with him if we’ve obeyed him.”
He pauses. I hesitate, too, wondering if I should just leave it with the “obey” part since that’s been the main lesson lately. But he’s not finished.
He leans one shoulder hard against the chair and ducks his head. “But I not want to die.”
I stumble over my words again. “Well, you’re not going to die today.” Oh gosh, I just lied to my kid. But I don’t know how to explain all that to a child this young!
He doesn’t give me any time for more thoughts. “But I not want go to heaven.”
This one, I’ve got in the bag. “Oh, yes you do! Because that’s where Jesus lives and we want to live with him forever.”
He smiles. “And he give me wings to fly up in the air? Like an airplane? And a helicopter?”
Content with my, “Yes,” this grown-up conversationalist takes flight to his bath, hands flying through the air like a plane.
Oh Jesus. Please give me the right words to teach this little boy to love you so that one day, he can fly home to you.