My daughters attend Sunday school every Sunday. Whether they are with their dad or with me. I am more likely to let them play hooky, only because I can hardly sit in church for an entire hour without agitating all the church ladies by my swinging leg and picking the nail polish off my fingernails. But I want the kids to know the Bible stuff, the God stuff, the prayer stuff, at least be educated and when they are old enough, they can decide what to investigate, what to believe in.
My seven year old is fascinated by Jesus and has been for the last few years. We drive by a nativity scene at Christmas, placed on the outer edge of a rotary nearby, and we go around and around about five times so she can keep getting a glimpse of Jesus out the window while we adhere to the twenty-five mile an hour speed limit. Every day that we come within a mile of that rotary, she yells, “Let’s go see Jesus!!!!”
There’s a children’s book about the history of the candy cane and part of that history is that when you turn a candy cane upside down, it becomes a “J” for Jesus. She thought that was pretty neato. What she didn’t understand was the explanation for the red and white stripes ... that the red was symbolic for Jesus’ blood running down his body when he was crucified. HOLY COW! Her questions about “why were all those people mean to him?” and “will I die?” began to flow. (Don’t ask me how I answered them because I don’t think I could repeat my simple child-appropriate answers back to her without freaking out.)
At the mall there is a kiosk of beautiful hand carved miniatures of the last supper, Jesus on the cross, the nativity, Mary and Joseph and the donkey traveling along a dirt road. This kiosk took priority over Build-a-Bear, the hermit crab kiosk, even McDonalds.
Once, we were at a store called Monroe Saltworks in Boston. They had a toy section of action figures. Later on, we were having lunch with an old family friend. My eldest piped up in between lunch and dessert ...”Guess what action figure I saw today!” Auntie guessed ... “Superman?” No. “Batman?” No. “Wonderwoman? Bionic Man? Spiderman? Stretch-man?” Noooooooooo.
My little girl stood up on her seat, stretched her arms out wide and with a big grin on her face yelled “JESUS!!!!!!”
Yes, in fact, there were actions figures of Jesus. I bought her one for her birthday that year. He still hangs around every so often. He even has wheels.
Even better though, at Christmas a few years ago, we were out walking around in the newly fallen snow and went into a quaint Christmas shop. Room after room after room of Christmas stuff. You practically have to have a map to find your way around. A snowman room. A Santa room. A crystal room. A caroler room. A Nativity room. A Christmas train room. Wait … A NATIVITY ROOM!!!!! Yes, we spent some time there checking out the many Jesus figures. Obviously, we had to come home with a nativity, which we did. Beautifully handcrafted and painted tin nativity manger, along with Jesus, Mary, Joseph, three wise men, some cows, sheep and a donkey.
All day, I kept hearing from the other room “Hey! HEY! HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY! Anyone wanna play JESUS???”