Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tornadoes, God, Space, Time and… Monty Python????

I shouldn’t be someone’s mother, really, I shouldn’t.  I don’t have the correct, wise, well-thought-out answers.  I also lack patience.
Bruce has nothing NOTHING on McCaulay Culkin! Bruce enjoys asking questions.  Many, MANY of them.  Most of which he already knows the answer.  I suppose he’s just confirming the answer he knows or ensuring I’ll give the same answer multiple times. 
I wasn’t prepared for him to have been so affected by the tornadoes of April 27th.  But, he was.  He speaks of it constantly to anyone he meets.  But then again, so do the adults lately.  The carnage by which we are forced to drive many times daily doesn’t help much.  We engage in a circular conversation.
Bruce:  What happened to all those trees and houses?
Me:  The tornados…
Bruce:  What about those houses?  Who did that to the power lines?
Me:  The tornadoes…
Bruce:  The tornadoes are bad.  They damaged my school. 
Me:  The tornado isn’t bad, it’s just being what it is. 
Bruce:  Do tornadoes have teeth?  Are they alive?  What if it damaged our house?  How come it didn’t?  Why do I have to go to school at the church?  Is Superman stronger than a tornado?  Could a tornado hurt someone?  What if a tornado reached all the way up to space?  What if I was stronger than Superman, could I beat the tornado?  Why doesn’t that house have a roof?  Was our house damaged?
All these questions and MORE occur daily – over and over.  As the rubble is cleared he asks about rebuilding.  Usually Superman and/or Spiderman is a part of the rebuilding efforts in his mind. 
He’s taken on a Socratic approach at time’s gone on. Bruce: Did God make the tornados? 
Me: Well, no.  
Bruce: Did God make everything in the world? 
Me: Yes. 
Bruce: So God made the tornados. 
Me: Uh, huh, Well.... Hey whattya want for dinner?
At some point these conversations take on a celestial quality.
The questions turn to these:  Are we on the earth?  Is the earth is space.  What is the sun?  What if I could touch the clouds and the moon?  Can Superman move the moon?  Could he be burned by the sun? 
 I try to give him an age appropriate, truthful answer.  But I’m out of those.  I would live to give him a philosophical lesson on The Problem of Evil, or why things happen to good people, but I don’t think that’s covered here in Tennessee until second grade.  As they say, “Denile”, is way more than a river in Egypt!”  I also like to turn the radio up and sing or promise him gifts.  “Hey, ya wanna get a new movie?”  “Hey, do you feel like eating at Chik-fil-A?” 
As with most things in life, when I run out of empathy (which I have lots of!!!! REALLY), I turn to humor.  It’s probably a defense mechanism.  I believe this situation calls for the sardonic wit of the Monty Python gang.  I do love dead-pan steam-of-consciousness humor.
If only Eric, John and the gang would come up with a version for children.  Until them, I’ll sing these to myself.

A periennal fave!

Explains everything, does it not?

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