Thor and I had a talk about world religions the other day. He is fortunate to be part of a very diverse elementary school, so he encounters a number of faiths. We were talking about the similarities and differences among them all, and I have been waiting for him to process our conversation and bring back his usual trove of questions. Tonight’s big one was, “So…when we die, we go to Heaven, then we come back to earth as dogs?” And then it was fifteen minutes of plucking delicately to untie the tangled knots of resurrection and reincarnation. It was a little like when your necklaces get tangled in the jewelry box.
Right now, he is satisfied with two things:
1. I was wrong about Santa Claus. Olive the Other Reindeer said that Santa is real if you only believe. He told me that he has chosen to believe, therefore, Santa is real. Also, he saw Santa at the WalGreens, so he knows Santa is real.
2. When he dies, he has decided that he will go to Heaven for a while, and hang out there until he is finished. When he is finished, he intends to return to earth as an animal. He has not yet decided which animal, but thinks it would be nice to be a dog, or a jungle cat. Maybe a dolphin. Definitely not an insect, unless he can be a spider (we’ll get to the finer points between insects and arachnids in another conversation) because those can climb walls, and that would be cool.
He mixed pajamas tonight with Christmas pajama bottoms and a Spider-Man shirt. He is Spider-Elf, he says. I was happy for him. Happy until he used his creepiest voice to say, “I want you to remember, Mama, Spider-Elf climbs up and down the walls all night long.” Then I was doubled over laughing. I love having this particular child. He certainly keeps me on my toes.