“Hey, we should read this book – it’s filled with murder and mayhem, natural disasters, and the occasional zombie! Guaranteed sweet dreams!”
I’m guessing not.
Well, there was this one book that had been sitting on my kids’ bookshelf for years, collecting dust. I didn’t think much of it. And when my little kid asked me to read it to her, I thought, why not?
It seemed wholesome. Filled with great life lessons. With darling pictures, to boot.
The book that my daughter’s precious little paws were grasping? A kiddie Bible.
Aw, I thought, She wants to read about Jesus. Isn’t that cute?
But it turns out it wasn’t cute. At all.
Now before you get your undies in a bunch about me calling the Bible “not cute,” let me tell you I’m speaking from a (small) position of authority.
I was a Big Time Catholic in the past. We’re talking the kind of person who went to Catholic summer camp, led retreats, taught CCD, and had the big, fancy Catholic wedding.
I won’t get into all the reasons I’m not a Big Time Catholic now. I’m not here to start a fight about religion. Though that could be fun … okay, I won’t go there.
But I am here to help you learn from my mistakes. Because woman, if you want to take on the kiddie Bible, you’d better be prepared.
I sure wasn’t ready for these fun topics to come up:
Jesus going back to Heaven
“Why is Jesus floating up into the clouds? Does he live in outer space?”
Creationism vs. evolution
“Who came first, dinosaurs or people? Did the dinosaurs eat the people?”
Working is for suckers
“Why does Mary sit and listen to Jesus tell stories and Martha does all the work, and Jesus says Mary is smart to not work?”
Are zombies real?
“If Jesus made Lazarus live again, can he make grandpa live again?”
If you’re not good, watch out!
“When there was that big flood, what happened to all the other people and animals? Can that happen again to us?”
The birds and the bees
“How did Jesus get in Mary’s belly? Is that how I got in your belly?”
Suffice it to say, I was reduced to a babbling idiot when faced with all these questions.
And it wasn’t only the questions that perplexed me. How about those pictures of the beaten Samaritan, lying on the side of the road? Jesus hanging from a cross? A whale swallowing up a human being? Those are some great bedtime images, huh?
Sweet dreams, darling!
After a few nights of this torture, I sneakily hid the kiddie Bible while my kiddo was entranced by a Dora the Explorer marathon and lied, lied, lied when she asked if I knew where it was. She persisted for a while, but then Jesus got eclipsed by the Disney Princesses, and the Bible has been mercifully forgotten.
Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. My daughter now prefers a hussy mermaid to your holy stories.
Someday I’ll have my day of reckoning and will have to explain to The Big Guy why I steered my daughter away from the Bible and toward stories about cartoon princesses intent on catching husbands and the adventures of a big-headed, unsupervised exploring preschooler and her monkey friend.
But it’s okay. I’m sleeping peacefully. Because my kids are not having nightmares about zombies and floods and therefore, waking me up at night. Nope. Sleeping like a baby here.
And anyway, I’m sure God will understand. He is a Father, after all, right?
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