Here's an excerpt of a conversation I had with Seth on Saturday evening, as I was helping him get ready for bed. I thought it was both hilarious and profound, and demonstrative about how he thinks and persists. Early on in the conversation, I grabbed a piece of scrap paper and a pen because I didn't want to miss his words.
Seth: "Your headache gone Mommy?"
Me: "Yup. Gone."
Seth: "All gone?"
Me: "Yes, all gone."
Seth: "Little bit owie in the head still, or all gone?"
Me: "Thankfully it's all gone."
Seth: "Teeny weeny bit of headache owie still there?"
Me: "No, Seth, it's all gone."
Seth: "God fix it?"
Me (pausing just a beat as I realized this conversation was going a little differently than I'd expected and wanting to answer well): "You know, Seth, I think that's exactly right. We prayed about my headache this afternoon and yes, I do think that God healed my headache."
Seth: "What 'healed' mean?"
Me: "'Healed' means to fix, or make better. I think that God did heal my headache, make it better."
Seth: "Did God phone you?"
Me (struggling not to laugh): "Uh, no, God didn't phone me. He doesn't need a phone. Why?"
Seth: "How you know God fixed it?"
Me: "Well, do you remember that we prayed about it before? And even if we hadn't prayed about it, God knows everything about us, so He knew about my headache. Praying to God is a way of talking to God."
Seth: "Why God have no phone to talk to you?"
Me (stumbling and mumbling): Well, uh, that's a great question. God doesn't need the phone because He's always here with us. We can talk to God any time we want."
Seth (looking around the bathroom): "Where God?! Here? In the bathroom?"
Me: "Yes, God's always with us, even here. And we can always talk with God."
Seth: "How we talk to God when God not have phone?"
Me: "We can just talk to him...whenever we want. He's always here with us, like a friend. And when we pray, we're talking to him, too - like at meal time, or at bedtime, or other times when we pray. When we pray, we're talking to God. And God talks to us, too, sometimes."
Seth: "You talk to God on computer then, if no phone? God talkin' to you on the computer?"
Sigh. This train of thought went on for a while yet, until he finally switched topics in favour of talking about death, and cemeteries (which he'd just been asking about the day before when he saw one), and whether one's eyes or fingers hurt after dying. He comes out with the most unexpected things at times, and I have to be very careful to hide my smiles because he's so intense that even a twinkle of my eye would hurt his feelings in these moments and he'd shut down in a flurry of rage and tears.
The more I think about it, the more I get to know Seth, the more he reminds me of his older brother; both of them have such sensitive hearts, and such philosophical and inquisitive minds. Though I love conversations such as these with both of them, and though I love seeing how they try to make sense of the world, I also have to admit that these kinds of talks (which are pretty frequent...had another one yesterday) almost hurt my brain at times. I have to be so conscious that what I'm telling them is true, and that it imparts a sense of values, because this is stuff that they really and truly do remember - I can't just brush them off with a pat answer because they always, always come back to me at some later time, and if I've given a half-hearted answer, Seth will say (in a very accusatory tone of voice) something like "Mommy, you say..." and then repeat what I told him the last time he asked about that topic. It's a little exhausting at times.
But I'm grateful that all three of my kids seem to have good heads on their shoulders, and someday I'm sure I'm going to be glad that they all three are strong-minded, strong-willed, independent thinkers. That day will come...right?