Thursday, March 6, 2014
THEY FLY, TOO!
Jer and I had dinner last night with a friend who related a story to us of being put on the spot by a smallish seven year old who wanted answers to "Do you think that Jesus created the world in 7 days?" and "What color skin does my dad have?" Jer and I laughed. We remembered having to answer some fairly touchy questions from our own kids when they were little; sometimes the answer came easily and other times we were hard put to know quite how much to say.
But on the way home I was reminded of our family's angel story.
Of my four kids, my oldest daughter was the one who never could let an answer end anything. She was a whiz at generating questions, to the point that the whole conversation could get completely off track and out of hand. The particular angel story goes like this:
I had put the kids in the car for a trip to visit my mother in Long Beach. As I recall, this story took place after all my kids had been born, which meant that in the car were a five year old, a four year old, and two year old, and a year old baby. Erin was the four year old. Except for the baby, who always rode in a portable car seat that hung by hooks on the front seat, making it easy to tend to the baby if necessary, the other children rode in the back seat and usually spent the time hanging over the front seat carrying on conversations with the driver. I know, it sounds very dangerous, but life was slower, freeways were scarcer, and society was nicer then, and all of us mothers raised our kids without strapping them into capsules for their own safety.
On this particular day Erin was being her chatty self, and for some reason the subject turned to angels. As I recall, the questions she asked me went like this:
Did you know there are angels in the air?
Did you know they fly?
Have you ever seen one?
Where do they go?
Will you ever be able to see one?
Are angels men or women?
As I was struggling to give her an age-appropriate answer to these questions and to figure out what kind of angel teaching she had received and furthermore where did it come from, she was urging me to tell her because she had more things she wanted to know about them.
Do they all play harps?
Do you think any play the violin?
Did they take lessons?
Who makes them practice?
All during this time I was maneuvering the car in and out of traffic, trying to keep the baby entertained with toys she kept flinging out of her car seat, and asking the "big kids" to sit down in the back seat.
As the questions kept coming, my frustration level started rising, and unfortunately I wasn't getting much cooperation from either the kids or my answers. I suggested talking about something else for a while, but no, that wasn't what Erin wanted.
Do angels flap their wings when they fly?
Do they go back to heaven to have their dinner?
And finally I reached my limit. I really, honestly was a very patient mother, but there comes a point. That arrived when Erin said....
When they fly to heaven, do they fly standing up or laying down?
I DON'T KNOW AND NO ONE KNOWS. NOW SIT DOWN AND BE QUIET!
Poor Erin. She stopped talking and sat down in the back seat. I felt AWFUL for yelling at my sweet child, but I couldn't take ONE MORE ANGEL QUESTION! As far as I know, she has never gotten an answer to that question, but she sure never asked ME again!