Saturday, July 25, 2009
"Mom, skip to the bloody part!"
One day on our walk home from the park last week, Maia asked me how God created fish. "Gosh," I said, "I guess I don't know the details... I think he just said the words and they came to be." So then she asked how God created human beings. Ah, well, this was a little easier of a question, although I stumbled through parts of the creation story, thinking of what Jeff has said about the original Hebrew words and not knowing if I should say "the human being," "the man," or just "Adam." So also for "Eve," seeing as how she didn't pick up that name until a little later in the story.
Anyway, then Maia wanted to know what happened next. So I told her the garden story, making a special point to note how the man was put in charge of guarding the garden and how he obviously did a pretty bad job if he allowed an intruder and left the woman to deal with the intruder on her own. Maia might as well learn about sins of omission as comission, although I didn't use those words. I just know from my own and Jeff's experience teaching this text that most people come to it with some preconceived notions of who is most at fault in the story. I also emphasized how God gave the man a chance to admit fault and instead he blamed it on the woman, and she blamed it on the snake/serpent/monster (depending on how you think the Hebrew should be translated).
So, after the fall story, Maia wanted to know what happened next, and so I told her about the consequences the man and woman faced following their sin. "What happened then?" We were more than halfway home at this point. I told Maia about Cain and Abel. I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to share this part of Genesis. Maia's still verbalizing some feelings of jealousy of her little sis, most recently by shouting at the dinner table: "I DON'T LIKE MY LITTLE SISTER!!!" So I didn't really want to let her know about fratricide, lest she get any ideas. But, alas, we weren't home yet. However, I made sure that I did a very thorough job of explaining how bad this was, including Cain not admitting fault and Abel's blood crying out from the earth.
"And then what happened?"
"Well, let's see... um, Cain was marked so that he couldn't be killed, and he roamed the earth, and then Eve gave birth to Seth, and... maybe I'll just let Daddy tell you the rest over lunch." I don't know if it was the walking or the sun or what, but I couldn't remember the next major event in Genesis.
"Ok, fine, Mom, but then will you tell the story over again, starting with the man being formed by God?" she asked as we turned onto our street.
"No, Maia, you know, I'm just a little too tired to tell the whole thing again, and, anyway we're close to home, and Daddy's probably much better at this anyway..."
"Ok, then, Mom, skip to the bloody part!"
"Oh, look, we're home!" Upon opening the house door, I failed to greet Jeff and instead instructed him to pick up with Seth, which he did.
And then I had a glass of water.