I'm the Sunday School teacher for the 2 and 3 year old class in August and A is in the class. She likes when I'm the teacher and we are studying the story of Esther this month. A loves the VeggieTales video of Esther and has been going around calling herself Queen Esther and G, of course, is Cousin Mordecai.
The story of Esther is that she's a beautiful Jewish girl chosen to become the Queen for Xerxes, the King of Persia. Cousin Mordecai doesn't bow down to Haman (one of the King's top men). Haman tricks the king into signing a law to kill all the Jewish people. Mordecai tells Esther to go to the King and ask him to save the Jewish people. She's allowed to go uninvited, but bravely faces the King. He listens to her and ends up having Haman killed and the Jews saved. (That's the quick version, lots of other things happen too). Today the lesson was about Haman's plot and Esther preparing to go to the King.
A lot of these Bible stories are not exactly "G" rated. I mean, if they were made into a Disney movie (like Prince of Egypt) I wouldn't take them to see it. Not yet at least. A friend of mine who doesn't take her son to church was asking me about this the other day. She was asking what they teach in Sunday School and if they tone it down for the kids. She wanted to know if they told the story of Jesus, with the cross and all. So today as I was telling the story, I didn't exactly 'dwell' on the fact that Haman wanted to kill Mordecai (and all of the Jews), but it's not something you can leave out of the story.
So what effect does that have on a young mind? Is it to early to discuss death with A at almost 4 years old? Does she even have the capability to understand or does it just go over her head?
So A tonight has been pretending to be Esther again, but this time she's been saying stuff to G like this:
Baby Mordecai, are you sad that you have to die? It's okay, I'll give you a hug.
Mordecai, I have to go in the closet now and die. Are you going to be sad? Are you going to cry?
Okay, Mordecai, lets go over here and die together. This looks like a good spot.
YIKES!!! What have I done?
Update: So I was putting her to bed tonight and read her Bible story. It just happened to be the story of Jesus rising from the grave. After the story was over she said:
A: Mommy, am I going to die?
M: Well, honey, everyone dies eventually
A: I don't want to.
M: When you die you can go to heaven.
A: But what will I eat there?
M: I don't know baby, I've never been there, but it's a wonderful place. You never will be hungry and never get boo boos.
A: But I don't want to go to heaven! I don't want to die ever I just want to stay.
M. Okay baby, why don't we pray about it and ask God to help you feel better about it. You don't have to go to heaven right now, I don't want you to go right now either. We'll pray that God lets you stay right here for a long time. Okay?
Anyone else deal with this kind of stuff?