Sunday, October 24, 2010

Conversations with a 5-year old boy

Mathew, my just turned 5-year old boy, tends to ask philosophical and intriguing questions, in which he leaves me baffled and fumbling at how to respond. And when I do respond, it only leads to more questions. Good thing I'm okay with saying "I don't know" and we look it up later. This conversation you are about to read was without planning and as usual, leaving me fumbling for answers. But before you read on, you must first read my blog disclaimer...a warning of sorts.

The following conversation with my 5-year old son, started with this question out of the blue:

"How did Earth start?"

I started by laughing nervously while driving my car. I mean, where did that come from? here we go again, baffled and amused...

So I started by telling him people believe different things and that I'm not even sure exactly what other beliefs may be out there. Essentially, I prefaced this conversation with the notion, that we really don't know the answer to this question, but everybody has there own belief. I've talked to him like this before when discussing heaven, reincarnation, death, etc. Yes, we have these conversations!

To answer his question, I started with the Big Bang theory. Some people think that billions of years ago, there was this big bang in the galaxy far, far away and poof, Earth was created. We pictured what that would look like in the galaxy and shared our thoughts.

Then I moved onto the Biblical theory. Yes, to me it's a theory, a mythical story. I told you to read the Blog Disclaimer first. Anyway, so I explained to him that some people believe God created Earth. That God said one day "Let there be light," and the next day, "let there be the sun, the moon, and the stars" and then "let there be animals and fish" and finally "let there be a boy and a girl." Or something like that. Yes, I know it's not a complete full version of the biblical story, but I was in a car and did not have Google handy. He got the point though and asked a really good question:

"Who is God?"

I laugh again. Oy,"Who is God?" he asks. Seriously?! Okay so I tell him that people believe different things about God. But mostly that God is believed to be the creator of Earth, a father. That God is everywhere, knows everything, and is powerful. Some people don't necessarily believe in God, but a form of God, that is not a person, but a powerful, energy source. I was really just babbling at this point. I tried to give him all view points to the best of my ability. I started to wonder if any of this was sinking in, when he then says:

"I want to create an Earth too!"

Laughing again....thinking great, now my son wants to be a God. So now I turn the tables on him.

"How do you think Earth was created?"
Oh, the places he goes....

One version he gave me was:
"Maybe heaven sent down babies on Earth." he tries to figure out.
I wonder out loud, "How did the heavens start?"
He reacts quickly almost like saying 'oh that's easy mom,' he says "people from Pluto came to heaven."
"Oh! And where is Pluto?" I ask curiously.
He says, "In the galaxy. On pluto there are dogs and one is named Pluto."
How do you not crack up hysterically...
He adds "There are also cats on Pluto."

I changed the subject on him to talk about Dinosaurs on Earth. Yes, I don't know what I was thinking, a conversation about evolution with a 5-year old. Luckily, I just kept it fun and light hearted. We talked about how dinosaurs were living on earth billions of years ago before us. Then HE talked about the fossils that are found now by paleontologists. He loves dinosaurs and apparently knows more about dinosaurs than I thought.

Then, I moved the subject back to how Earth was created and asked him for another theory of his. This has to be my favorite theory:
"There was a picture of a girl and a boy holding hands. In the picture, there was grass and flowers on the ground. The sun was at the top of the picture. It was a magic picture and it turned into real Earth."
Stunned by this idea, I had to ask, "Was the boy and girl named Adam and Eve?" I'm laughing as I ask this question, but also wondering if he's learning ideas from elsewhere.
He said, "No, Adis and Owen" (I don't even think we know an Adis and Owen.)
So naturally, I asked "who drew this painting?"
"An artist named Mathew" he says confidently. (Loving it!)
"Where was this artist drawing this picture if Earth was not created yet?"
He says without doubt, "in a rocket ship far away in the galaxy."
Now I wonder if his theory is getting mixed up with Super-Man and a magicians trick. Too funny! Where does a 5 year old come up with this stuff?

This conversation was approximately 20 minutes. I am not sure I gave the details, creativeness, and humor we had in this conversation the justice it is due. At one point, I had to start taking notes; it was just too good. He asked me if I was writing what he said down. I said, "Yes! I want to share your ideas with you when you get older! You will love it" And that's when I noticed a sense of pride and pleasure on his face (that I was writing it down).

I freaking love this kid!!!!

Reminder to self: Show this blog to Mathew when he's 10 years old, then again at 20 :)


Sara Louise said...

I love this! Kids minds are tricky little things!
My father is an Episcopal Reverend but was always very liberal with my brother and I in terms of our own belief and ideas, he taught us about what he believed but never forced it on us (very progressive I must say) but I always happily went to his mass until I was about seven and I asked; "Dad, if God created us, who created God?" he said, "I don't know." Well... the fact that my all wise all knowing daddy (in my mind) who was also a priest didn't know the answer, then something was out of whack!
I will never forget that conversation as long as I live and will forever cherish the memory of it. I'm sure Matthew will love seeing this post years from now

TheUndertaker said...

That's so awesome, some kids just blows me away, what great mind and imagination! : )


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