The other day while lying on the beach my six year old son asked me if everyone died. I said yes.
Talking about death is incredibly difficult for me. I’ve explained how babies are made, the electoral college, and taxes to my kids without blinking an eye, but I hate talking about death. So, I was surprised and relieved when his next question was, “Is God already dead?” Questions about God, I can handle! I have a standard answer, “No one really knows about God. But lots of people have lots of theories and beliefs. What religion you are is based on what you believe about God.”
I knew we were back on safe territory when the next question was, “So, was Jesus real?”
Having grown up Jewish in Kentucky I’ve been explaining the Jewish view of Jesus since I was younger than my son. “We believe Jesus was a real person, who did a lot of great things. Other people believe he was part of God or related to God differently than other people. That’s what makes them Christian.” We went on to the next thought that pretty much every Jewish kid not living in New York or Israel has had when he said, “It would be easier to be Christian, then I’d match my friends.”
After a little back and forth about whether or not it was actually important to match your friends, the conversation took a stranger turn when my son told me that he didn’t think dinosaurs were real. He is convinced that Megalodons (prehistoric sharks for those of you not up on your six year old trivia) are real but not so much the dinosaurs. After all, the scientists could be wrong and those could just be bones from other animals. He then asked me if we could go play catch in the water. The conversation was over, no more God, religion or dinosaurs just water, sand and a football.
This is why talking to six year olds is the best. One minute they’re nihilists, the next creationists but really, everything can be answered by a good game of catch.