My sister Arianna is seated in front of the car and trying to drive without crashing into the other hundred or so parents also leaving the neighborhood center where the class is offered. She can’t turn around and look at his face to figure out where he’s going with this. All she can do is glance at him through the rearview mirror.
“What do you mean, baby?” she asks him, hoping to get some clarification on what he’s thinking. With David, figuring out his thought process is the challenge and the fun of talking with him.
My sister is determined to raise him Catholic. My brother-in-law Tomas is non-religious in the most basic way: while he believes in God (theoretically) his family never attended church services or became “attached” to any religion in particular. He has no strong affiliations. Arianna, however, was raised Catholic from back when we still attended Mass every Sunday, so she wants her son to have the same experience. That’s one of the reasons why she put him in a Catholic school for Pre-Kindergarten. When it came time to choose private schools (we absolutely don’t qualify for any of the free options) she ended up at a “Saint” something or other.
David did not enjoy Mass… but that’s a conversation for another post.
“God didn’t make everything,” he repeats, as if this should be evident to her. His six-year-old mind frequently cannot grasp why the things that are “obvious” to him require explanations for the rest of us. He’s got that eye-roll and frustrated huff down to a science.
“Of course he did,” my sister counters. And she proceeds to tell him that God made the earth and the people, etc., etc.
He doesn’t let her finish. “All my toys say ‘Made in China.’ So I know he didn’t make my toys.” Saying this he waves one of the toys in question, reading the label on it.
And my sister had one of those flabbergasted moments of silence that’s become commonplace when interacting with her son.
She regrouped and explained, or tried to explain, what “everything” means when talking about “God made everything,” but she never changed his mind that that statement excluded his toys. “Maybe he made everything but toys,” he decided.
Cathecism class is going to be interesting.
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