Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Where did I come from?

My daughter is such a strange and captivating creature, sometimes I have no choice but to respond to the things that she says with the rhetorical question: “Where did I get you from?”

“Where DID you get me from, Mommy?” she asked one day, genuinely curious.

“From the moon.”

“You got me from the moon?”


She paused and considered.

“Did you really get me from the moon Mommy? In real life?”

“No, honey.”

“Then WHERE did you get me from?”

A tough question. Where to begin? Do I go all Darwin? Dazzle her with fancy prehistoric terms like “australopithecus”? Do I tackle the birds and the bees? The wonders of the uterus? None of it answers the question really. So I tell her what I told her brother when he asked:

“In real life, God made you and put you in my belly,” I said.

She looked skeptical, and really, who could blame her? It’s not easy for kids to sort out fantasy from reality to begin with and then you throw in stuff like God and Santa and growing humans from tiny eggs inside your belly and it gets just impossible. But that’s life – confusing, undecipherable. I’m glad she has skepticism, but I’m a person who believes in stuff, all sorts of stuff – God and saints and miracles and evolution and science and myths and magic and ghosts and folklore and community. I’m the opposite of an atheist, if that’s possible, because I pretty much believe in everything, to a greater and lesser extent. There’s no explaining life without explaining the divine, where I’m coming from, so that’s where I started. Later, we’ll get to the Big Bang theory and Evolution of the Species. And eventually – sigh -- the birds and the bees, though I’d better start brainstorming a better title for that particular seminar, one which doesn’t make me sound like an octogenarian.