All I can say is that I am seriously unprepared for this. Just when I feel like I get a grip on things- and sometimes I do actually get a grip on things- the boys have to overturn the apple cart again. Lately I've been wishing and praying for a break from the London Tower Bridge. Sure enough, the boys' obsession with ships is transitioning into an obsession with bridges and the Tower Bridge is by far at the top of their list. Every waking moment is spent fixated on some aspect of the London Tower Bridge. I have been desperate for a break- so much so that I have taken to planting other books around in hopes of sparking their interest in something else. Last week I did get a half an hour reprieve when we mapped out which dinosaurs lived during which time periods of the Mesozoic Era. And then I got a lesson in "be careful what you wish for"....
The boys wanted to read the story of Noah's Ark in their storybook Bible. The ark was a ship, hence the interest. So we read the story. Except that I didn't think it would bring back Matthew's million questions about God. It started about two months ago when Jon ran into an Italian deli to grab us some sandwiches for dinner one night. A few minutes after he leaves the car Matthew asks, "Mama, where does God live?" Heaven sweetie, God lives in Heaven. "Mama? Where is Heaven?" In the sky dear. "How far in the sky mama? As far as airplanes or as far as rockets or as far as Jupiter?" I'm not sure Matthew, what to you think? Then Caleb chimed in. "Mama, how do you get to Heaven?" No one knows. "Why mama?" Because you only go there when you die. Yes, I said this- what else was I supposed to say?! "Mama, how do we die?" Oh dear. "Mama, when will we die?" I text Jon to hurry the hell up. "Mama? After we die and go to Heaven and see God, can we come back to earth"? No, you can't I say. You live with God forever. "Is God a person mama?" How on earth do I explain that?! Kind of? But this isn't good enough. "What does he look like mama?" No one knows. "Why mama? Why does no one know?" Mama, can we go to Heaven? Mama, what do you do in Heaven? Mama, if God lives in Heaven, how does he see us? Mama, does Heaven have a floor? Does it have a ceiling? Good gracious!!! All in the time it took for Jon to pick up some sandwiches!
So Noah. The boys want to know where the rain came from. God made it rain. "But mama, I thought the weather makes the rain. The air pressure and clouds make the rain." Yes dear, you are right. "So how did God make Noah's rain?" It was a special time, I say. "But how come God made the rain then but weather makes the rain now?" Seriously?! Even if kids came with a parenting manual, I'm pretty sure this stuff wouldn't be in the 4 year old chapter- if it was in there at all!!! They were relentless, desperately trying to make sense of the story when it flew in the face of every schema they had created for themselves.
And in true Paddock Twins fashion, they just haven't been able to let it go. While I think you could tell most newly turned four year olds that God flies around on a magic unicorn and sleeps on a puff of cotton candy and they would be happy to accept such an image, surely it can't be that simple for us. In the middle of an innocent family breakfast- "Mama, are there houses in Heaven?" During an episode of Sesame Street- "Mama, does God like amphibians?" And of course, the worst of all, 38 seconds before we tuck them in for bed. If you have ever spent an entire day with a four year old, much less two of them, you know how desperate you are to tuck them into bed at night. It's not exactly the time that you want to be asked "Mama, what makes the rain fall outside? God or weather?" It is Caleb, and he just can't make sense of it. I feel for him, I really do. Faith is difficult for most adults to comprehend. Adults who are abstract thinkers. Logical thinkers. But a four year old, no matter how intelligent, is neither of those things. The poor little guy is stuck in the workings of his own little brain, trying to make sense of the logical and rational world he knows too much about for his own good and the most abstract of all concepts in human existence that he wants to make sense of. Just a day in the life around here I guess. But don't worry, tomorrow's got to be better... I'm really hoping we wake up wanting to build the London Tower Bridge again!!!!