Don’t ask me how this conversation came up. Some days my daughter and I hop from one topic to the next as quickly as Ohio’s weather changes. And for everyone not familiar with Ohio weather, our motto is, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.”
One of the jobs as my daughter’s mother and teacher is to do my best to answer all her questions.
Sometimes that’s easy: “Mom, who was the 24th president again?”
And sometimes it’s not so easy: “Mom, why don’t people see how important it is to help each other?”
But I always answer honestly with as much factual information as possible in addition to my personal thoughts.
By the way, she’s currently 10 1/2 years old.
During a conversation on Wednesday of this week, we somehow stumbled on religion, which is not one of my favorite subjects and my daughter knows it. She believes in God, while I take more of a…scientific approach. However, she knows I respect her beliefs and I encourage her to pursue what she feels is right for her life.
“Mom, why can’t a person believe whatever they want to believe?”
“A person can believe whatever they want to believe, but if they want to belong to a particular religion, generally, they have to follow whatever it is that religion dictates as the ‘truth’.”
Her face scrunched up with disapproval. “Well, I think no matter if you’re German, Christian or Catholic, you should be accepted for what you believe and everyone should just accept each other.”
Did she just say “German” was a religion? I snorted with laughter.
She was immediately defensive. “What! What did I say?”
Fighting back my laughter, I explained, “I’m not laughing at you, honey. I’m happy you’re so sweet and your good heart wants everyone to love each other and just accept each other.”
“Yeah, okay, so why did you laugh?”
“Uh, why do you think Germans are a religion? You know Germans are people who live in Germany, right?” This time I masked the amusement by turning my face away from her.
“Of course! It’s like, a culture. I just didn’t know what people in Germany had as their religion and I thought they should be included.”
An in-depth conversation about the many other religions in the world followed, one I’m sure we’ll have several more times throughout her life, but her initial response really cracked me up.
I just love the purity of kids, their thoughts and the questions that pop into their heads. Why she didn’t think to say the French or the Italians or the Chinese, I don’t know. For some reason Germans were first in her mind.
I hope you get a little chuckle out of just one example of the funny comments I enjoy on a daily basis. And I learned over the years to write down her questions and comments. That way I could always remember them. I urge you to do the same because childhood flies by so fast you could get whiplash.
What’s the funniest thing your kid or a relative’s kid ever said or asked you?