One of my favourite old posts: is god real?

I try and make it a rule to not lie to my kids.

Ok that’s a lie straight away, I tell plenty of fibs when it suits me. For example this morning I told twin boy the Easter Bunny had texted me from his I phone and was about to remove one of his easter eggs from his basket if he didn’t sit and eat his breakfast nicely. However as we all know lying always trips you up and this was the case when twin boy suddenly leapt from his chair whooping with glee shouting;

“I am getting a basket of eggs, so that means more than one!”

Personally I blame the school for teaching him maths.

So I lie for my own benefit and to keep dreams alive.

Santa is real, fairies live amongst the weeds in our garden and yes your face will get stuck that way if the wind changes…

But I try and maintain as much honesty as possible for most things, which is bloody hard work. Take this mornings conversation for example.

Twin boy: “mummy was God the first person in the world?”

Me; “um, sort of well some believe he made the world.”

Twin boy: “what do you believe mummy?”

Me: “I’m not sure darling, I am going to wait and see.”

Twin boy: “but mummy who gave God a special kiss so he could have Jesus?”

Me: “well some believe God invented people so he didn’t need a special kiss.”

Twin boy: “so did God push Jesus out his bottom like Aunty Violet did baby ben?”

Me, faltering: “no Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph who God made.”

Twin Boy: “is God real”

Me, blasphemous: “Dear lord, I am not sure, some think he does others think the world was created by a big bang.”

Really I should just lie, a five year old doesn’t need to know my agnostics beliefs. The worms are out if the can and crawling everywhere!

Twin Boy, panicking “but mummy if God isn’t real, what about heaven? And if there is no heaven and no God then Jesus didn’t die on the cross and come back as a zombie like Daniel said. And if there is no God, no zombie Jesus, no cave for him to hide in and no Easter then there is no Easter bunny and *loudly* no chocolate eggs.”

At this point twin boy turns the colour of beetroot and his lip starts to quiver at the thought of Thornton’s shutting up shop when word gets out that the story of Easter may or may not be true.

Wearily I turn and cuddle my little boy;

“Its ok, God is real darling, Easter is still on.”

I see relief flood over him, a happy child once more.

“But mummy, how did zombie Jesus have two dads? Did they do special kisses? Can boys marry….”

Help me!

52 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. pottijo
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 08:44:20

    hehehehhe…. love it…. the innocence and wonder and pain in the buttness of kids questions.

    Id say, “understanding about God is bigger that mummy’s brain can cope with, so ask me again when your 27 and I’ve had time to think”

    x

    Reply

  2. Emma
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 08:57:13

    Love it, fabulous post and great conversation.

    It’s much easier in our house; I believe, Rachel believes, mike (dad) doesn’t and Rachel thinks he’s silly.

    One important thing to remember; heaven is a very important concept for children, one which gives them a sense of safety about death. Broach that at your peril.

    Reply

    • janeblackmore
      Apr 21, 2011 @ 09:17:53

      Fair point! It is so tricky though, but I was raised as a christian confirmed etc, disowned the idea of a God at 16, argued my way through philosphy classes at Uni, rebeled and married out of a church and had my kids named but then an incident last year made me rethink my values and we had our children welcomed into our church for a celebration ceremony. I remain on the fence but I have my own heaven which I still believe in so the kids must share that!

      thanks for commenting emma x

      Reply

  3. Boatwife
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 09:10:07

    That is brilliant! My 3 yr old also keeps asking about God & we’re atheist but trying to be PC with our answers!

    Reply

  4. HELEN JESSUP
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 09:37:53

    easy answer : ask your Dad!
    x

    Reply

  5. emma
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 09:42:05

    Thats fantastic! I love the way they think! x

    Reply

  6. Tim (aka Dotterel)
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 09:46:14

    Kids understand more than we sometimes give them credit for. It’s us grown-ups with the hang-ups that have the problem. Because things can be ‘true’ but not ‘real’ (i.e empirically verifiable). Is Shakespeare any less true if there was never a King called Lear? You might be interested in my musings on the Templeton prize, which deals with much the same subject: http://tim-atkinson.blogspot.com/2011/04/templeton-foundation.html

    Reply

    • janeblackmore
      Apr 21, 2011 @ 10:56:07

      Tim that is a cracking blog – any one would think you are published….

      seriously though it raises some really good points, even a tiny spot has to come from something!

      Please come round and chat to twin boy

      thanks

      Reply

  7. Mcai7td3
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 09:49:15

    Hehe wow!! He is a thinker going through the whole chain right to the Easter eggs, he has his priorities in order! Maybe you should keep him away from Daniel though… Zombie Jesus? Hehe, I couldn’t help giggling!

    Reply

  8. JallieDaddy
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 11:42:56

    Zombie Jesus?! I think I like this Daniel.

    On a serious note I hope to be honest with my twins as much as possible; the less superstition they’re exposed to the better, in my opinion. Ultimately they have to make up their own minds & have their own opinions so I want them to be open minded & question everything. Religion is the antithesis of that.

    Having said that – maybe you should ask me about this again in a few years’ time…

    You could point out that Easter eggs & bunnies were around a long time before Jesus, so Thorntons would still be around? No? OK 🙂

    Great post as ever

    Reply

    • janeblackmore
      Apr 21, 2011 @ 12:33:09

      Hmmm I will return to haunt you when your twins are 5, their appetite for knowledge is insatiable which is fabulous but quite frankly shows up my ignorance in most areas.

      When they were three my kids thought I knew everything whereas now they doubt me. So much so that twin boy asked if I was daft!

      Hmmm maybe if I spent less time blogging about them and more time reading encyclopedias I would be a more informed parent.

      Then again Daddy doesn’t blog and he seems as stumped as me most days!

      Thanks for reading

      Reply

  9. motherporridge
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 15:14:54

    zombie jesus. Absolutely priceless.

    Reply

  10. fastandluce
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 15:26:33

    Very good question!!! I (as a RC) was always told I had a “kindergarten view of Christianity” ! I do believe in Adam and Eve and Moses and The Nativity and Easter. BUT….if I stop too long to think about it then scientifically it cant be right! Its a matter of faith and so long as we have faith in SOMETHING (be it a jolly old man with a long white beard sitting on a fluffy cloud surrounded by angels with harps, or even the easter bunny) then I dont think the scientific side should come into it. But I am hugely impressed your kids are being taught those bible stories at school!

    Reply

    • janeblackmore
      Apr 21, 2011 @ 17:19:55

      I am with you! My beliefs center around an afterlife of some kind and some bigger being but am not sure about organised religion. However it forms a vital part of our history and heritage and our kids future so am pleased they are being educated. Just wish I could articulate it better to a 5 year old

      Reply

  11. Alison Chisnell
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 20:59:54

    I do love your blogs – they always make me chuckle. My two ask a LOT of questions about God, Jesus, heaven etc (my fave was “do they have weetabix in heaven?!). If I get stuck – and I often do, even though, ironically, I have a Theology degree! – I resort to the “well no one knows for definite, it’s a bit like magic really” line. Which usually works….until the next time!

    Zombie Jesus though, that’s a classic 🙂

    Reply

  12. Mother Badger
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 22:57:45

    I’m loving Zombie Jesus.

    I’m dreading this conversation with Baby Badger. My mum is heavily Methodist, my father brought up Catholic but now agnostic, and I chose C of E as a child but now also am agnostic. I think it’s up to her to choose whether and what to believe. Father Badger on the other hand is militantly atheist and left unchecked would set out on a mission to convert all local churchgoers to atheism, at gunpoint if necessary. It’s not going to be easy…

    Reply

  13. mummy@bodfortea
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 23:21:18

    Brilliant! Thanks for posting this so I can start thinking about what I’m going to say when DD finally asks this question! Great post – in fact my post of the week 😀

    Reply

  14. Louise
    Apr 22, 2011 @ 01:31:07

    I fear I have all this to look forward to 🙂 Too funny, particularly at this time of night. My chuckling nearly woke the baby :-0

    Reply

  15. Louise
    Apr 22, 2011 @ 01:32:44

    I fear I have all this to look forward to 🙂

    Too funny, particularly at this time of night. My chuckling nearly woke the baby :-0

    Reply

  16. Ali
    Apr 22, 2011 @ 22:12:45

    Quote for my, then 4 year old, “I don’t believe that God created the world all on his own, they got it wrong. Mary was his wife and there is no way that she would have sat around watching god do all the work, she probably did more than him, and gave Jesus his bath, put Jesus to bed, and read his story anyway then made the tea.

    Reply

  17. CaroleHolland
    Apr 23, 2011 @ 10:48:44

    I am totally loving Zombie Jesus!

    I take the kids to church with me every week but their Daddy is an ex-Jehovah’s Witness (and a very cynical one at that) so we could have some fun when they start asking questions! In the end though it’s their choice what to believe (except, of course, when it comes to the Easter Bunny & Santa – they are real. I like chocolate and presents…)

    Reply

  18. @LincolnAndMe
    Apr 23, 2011 @ 18:52:32

    Hahahahaha!!! Pmsl… What a pickle xxx

    Reply

  19. april
    Apr 24, 2011 @ 08:13:35

    first time here – hello!.
    True that – faith giving kids some security – I’ve seen it happen. We went from no church ever and a very very anxious child (not connected to religion at all) to church regularly, church school, a belief in something bigger than her that could control things that existed in the world to some extent (thus no “Bloody Mary” or ghosts that can do you harm) and a routine of rosary prayers that now mean she goes to sleep before 10 pm most night as opposed to being up past midnight – out of bed every 5 mins asking me if anything bad would happen.
    It works for her, and it worked for me when I was young.
    I still believe in a something – and I like the community that faith can create.
    I don’t think I would ever definately tell a child anything. I like my two to work it out for themselves more or less. The concept of ‘anything is possible’ is very strong with me.

    Reply

    • janeblackmore
      Apr 24, 2011 @ 09:38:32

      Thanks April, I hope you enjoyed your first time!

      I agree kids need something to believe it and age will allow them time to form their own beliefs as they grow up.

      Thanks for commenting

      Reply

  20. MellyBentley
    Apr 24, 2011 @ 19:27:03

    Utterly brilliant post. made be giggle. Well done for handling that one. I am making notes for the future. x

    Reply

  21. mymumdom
    Apr 24, 2011 @ 20:09:38

    We are atheists and although we lie about Santa, the easter bunny and the tooth fairy, I find I have to be honest about what I believe about god and heaven.
    We use the ‘some people believe’ line and we do get them freaking out about death sometimes, which is hard.
    But we tell them that it’s a long way off, and they don’t have to worry about and when they are older they can choose what they believe.
    Then we usually start talking about reincarnation and what kind of things we’d like to come back as.
    I can remember having panic attacks about death and the concept of ‘forever’ as a kid, so know where they are coming from.

    Reply

  22. urbanvox
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 11:49:58

    lol!!!! LOVE IT!!!! 🙂

    Reply

  23. DeliciousNessy
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 19:44:10

    I read once about a mum who was having the death and heaven conversation with her son. She was brought up in Northern Ireland and had abandoned religion after witnessing the destruction it brought.
    She explained death to her son by likening it to before he was born. Saying that, although he didn’t remember it, it wasn’t something scary and you would be in a safe place. It seemed to work well!

    Reply

  24. Pooky Hesmondhalgh
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 20:16:38

    I read your blog every day but via email so don’t get a chance to comment but had to on this one. YOu must work out the answers and help me. You’ve filled me a fear so big I don’t know if I can tame it, even with a never ending supply of bonios.

    So please Jane. pretty please, figure out how to deal with such questions. i too am agnostic. Him indoors is aetheist and the little one’s birth family are god people.

    uh oh…we’re in trouble!

    In other news I got off my fat ass and started to write my blog again (basically because I had stopped because little’un’s birth mum was stalking me but in the end I have decided f**K it!

    Please can you help me get back in the swing by letting me know if there are any blog carnivals or meme type things etc? Thank you! xxx

    Reply

    • janeblackmore
      Apr 25, 2011 @ 20:36:50

      I saw the blog was back and was extremly happy when it buzzed through on my blackberry yesterday! I will pop over there in a bit and start commmenting!

      are you a member of british mummy bloggers? they list all the carnivals?

      also the gallery – @tara_cain on twitter?

      I will link you to any memes that come my way but be warned I am rubbish at them!!!

      nice to have you back Pooky – also I have no idea how to deal with these questions! thats why I blog! 🙂

      Reply

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Copyright © Jane Blackmore and Northernmum, 2010-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jane Blackmore and Northernmum with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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