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Oh my God, we forgot religion!

Last night at bedtime – a time which has become conducive to heavy, philosophical discussions – Young Son (7) and I landed on the subject of God.

As I recall, we wended our way down the path this way: we were talking about presidents, and I mentioned that John F. Kennedy was our youngest president, and then I mentioned that he died while he was in office. Of course, Young Son wanted to know how, and (not having thought this topic through sufficiently) I had to explain the circumstances. Much affected, YS said that he would be so angry he would want to kill someone who killed a president.

!!

While sincerely hoping we are not incubating a future trench-coated murderer, I suggested that maybe God should be the one who decides who lives and who dies … not people.

“But he’s dead,” said my son.

“Uh …” I fumbled. “Not really …”

Thus far in Young Son’s religious education, he has attended a Jewish preschool (where he learned to sing the blessing before meals), and his parents (non-observant-Jew father and non-observant-Gentile mother) celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah. We lean in the direction of Judaism for our kid.

So I said to him, in that God-made-the-world-and-everything-in-it kind of perspective, “Well, God’s not really dead …”

“Didn’t he get eaten by a whale?”

“Oh! That’s Jonah. That’s a story from the Bible. That’s a book that … um, never mind.”

“Skyler told me God died a long time ago.”

“Oh! Maybe he’s talking about Jesus.”

“Who’s Jesus?”

“Well …” I said, stifling a laugh and weighing my vaguely Gentile words, “Most people think he was the son of God.”

“God Junior?”

Ahhhh.

That’s the good stuff.

This child has NEVER failed to fascinate me.