Tonight, after finishing up trick-or-treating, we gathered the kids together for our evening family prayer. It was Eleanor’s turn.
“Dear Heavenly Father,” she began “Thank you for Halloween. Please bless the candy that we got trick-or-treating, that it will be safe.”
“And please bless the candy that I got in my goody bag at preschool that it will be safe, too.”
Ah, yes. There’s nothing as fascinating as the flimflummery that erupts when you mix religion with toddlers. Things have been especially interesting, Eleanor-wise, since we began sending her to a “Christian” preschool.
“Christian” meaning: they have “chapel” twice a month, spend a short time every day doing “Jesus Time” (aka, they hear Bible stories), and all of the children have learned the dreaded Noah Song. You know:
God said to No-ah, There’s gonna be a floody floody!
Errrrrrgh, I’ll stop right there. However, it’s the “Jesus Time” that seems to be having the biggest influence on Ella’s worldview. Namely, the way she percieves the New Testament to be.
Usually, during weekday breakfasts, I’ll have my own bit of scripture-storytelling with the kids, which usualyl means reading from the Book of Mormon Reader (yes! With the illustration of a middle-aged, potbellied Ammon! That’s the one!). But lately Eleanor has insisted on telling the scripture story all by herself.
This is the way it usually goes:
“Once upon a time, there was a wonderful man named Jesus. He was very nice. But then — BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!”
–here she pounds on the table–
“Some Romans came and tried to kill Jesus. So he ran away —swoosh! and hid in a beautiful garden. And those Romans could not find him! The End!”
My transcript really doesn’t do justice to her interpretation, which usually involves a lot of gesturing and vocal inflection.
I haven’t the heart to correct her story, and even if I tried, I doubt she’d take me seriously. Eleanor’s the sort of kid who picks out a particular world-view and sticks with it, come what may. Heaven help us if she ever becomes involved in politics.