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Parenting: God, the Big Bang, and Strawberries

A 5-year-old wanted to know who or what created the earth. I wanted to change the subject.

I'll admit it. This morning, I didn't just avoid a tough conversation with my 5-year-old, I ran from it like JD Salinger from a camera.

Keep in mind, she had only been up for 3 minutes before she popped the question. She was groggy. A little cranky. It's the time of morning usually reserved for, "What's for breakfast?" followed by her whining about my answer.

So imagine my surprise when she sprung this question:

5-year-old: Daddy, who do you believe made the earth? God or the big boom?

Me: Ummmm.... What do you think?

5-year-old: God.

Me: Great!

I poured the cereal and milk, set it in front of her, and started to unload the dishwasher.

5-year-old: Daddy, who do you think made the earth!? God or the big bam?

Now, keep in mind when you're judging me that I tried to give an honest answer. I really did.

Me: You know, honey, I don't know.

5-year-old: Daddy, just tell me!

Me: I did, honey. I don't know the answer to that question.

5-year-old: Daaaddddyyyyy, just tellllll me!

Me: Who wants strawberries?

5-year-old: Daddy, who made the earth?! God or the big boom?!

Me: Oh, I don't know. Probably the big boom, honey. Maybe both did.

5-year-old: Oh.

(Pause)

5-year-old: I don't like blueberries.

Me: I know. That's why I didn't give you any.

5-year-old: Oh.

Me: Where did you hear about that?

5-year-old: Hear about what?

Me: Were you talking about who made the earth with someone?

5-year-old: Yes, Amelia asked me.

Me: Why did she ask you?

5-year-old: Because I was reading a book about the earth.

Me: Oh.

5-year-old: Did you know the earth is really old?

Me: It is? Like, how old?

5-year-old: Like, 100 years. A hundred thousand years.

Me: Wow!

5-year-old: Yeah.

Find Dave Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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David Leonard June 08, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Jesussaves: That would be "someone who...."
Nichole McDowell June 08, 2012 at 01:41 PM
My husband and I are not religious/believers. But a year or so ago, my son started asking to go to church, so I found a church close to home and started taking him. My son, now age 6, asks a lot of 'big whammy' questions that are tough to answer for me to answer because I don't put a lot of stock into the things that he believes in. When he starts asking questions about religion such as, 'When old grandma dies, will she go to Heaven?" I use the response "That is what some people believe." We talk a lot about different religions and different ideologies that people and cultures have. I want him to be well-informed and tolerant of the fact that not everyone will be believe what he does.
David Leonard June 08, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Good for you, Nichole!
Dave Schwartz June 08, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Nichole, Being around a university setting, there are a lot of different ideas floating around. It's been fascinating to observe how tolerant people are becoming of other religions, but there are still considerable freak-outs directed toward people who feel comfortable expressing doubt, humanism, or atheism. "Oh, you're Jewish/Catholic/Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist? That's nice. Want to go see a movie?" ... "YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN ANYTHING OH MY GOODNESS AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!"
The Shill June 10, 2012 at 05:50 PM
If we are going to teach 'creation science' as an alternative to evolution, then we should also teach the stork theory as an alternative to biological reproduction.

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