Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Three-year-old theology (again): God, hats, and monsters

A couple of nights after our previous conversation, my three-year old son talked with me further about God and monsters – I thought I'd record it here, since several people told me they enjoyed the last post. As I was tucking Jamie into bed, he related a dream from the night before. (He always remembers his dreams, and talks about them as though they really happened – he has a lofty disregard for the conventional distinction between dreams and reality.)

Boy: Last nike [night] there were two Gods and two Jamies. God give me glasses* so there wouldn’t be two.

Dad: Um... what happened?

Boy: Glasses, I wear the glasses. And God give me a hat, so the monster won’t get me.

Dad: A monster? Was this a dream you had?

Boy: It was a BIG monster, last nike, bigger than the ceiling. He was standing in the water, with a big hat.

Dad: The monster was wearing a hat?

Boy (shudders, and whispers): No – the hat is UNDERNEATH him.

Dad: That sounds like a scary dream. Were you scared?

Boy: No, I was happy. God give me a hat, and the monster fly away. But I don't have any glasses, so there were two Gods and two Jamies.

Dad (smiling): Oh, that sounds nice!

Boy (shocked by my ignorance): No, two Gods and two Jamies: it will be VERY bad. So God give me the glasses to stop it coming true.

Dad: Well, I'm glad God helped you.

Boy: But if you shut the door tonike [tonight], then it will come true.

Dad: So you want the bedroom door open tonight?

Boy: Yes. If you shut the door, it will all come true.

Dad: But if I leave the door open, with the hallway light on...

Boy: Then there will be one God and one Jamie.

* Interpretive note. I think his association between glasses and doubleness arises from his longstanding fascination with my glasses: when he looks into my bespectacled eyes, he sees “two Jamies” reflected.

10 Comments:

Terry Wright said...

Sounds like an apocalypse: the BIG monster standing in the water with a hat underneath him = the beast coming out of the sea with ten horns and seven heads (Rev 13:1). I always thought John's vision could have done with a few references to panamas and fezzes.

Karl Hand said...

What a powerful dream! I'd like to have a pair of glasses and a hat like that.

roger flyer said...

Ben-Your hermeneutic is seen through the Father's eyes.

tortoise said...

What I Saw One Nike Ago
(for Jamie and his dad Ben, with apologies to Dr Seuss)

“While you put me into bed,”
Jamie to his daddy said,
“I will tell you, so you'll know
what I saw one nike ago.
Gods and Jamies, two of each,
and with head too high to reach,
great big monster, feet all wet
(standing on his hat, I'll bet).

“Was I scared? Oh no, not me,
I was happy as can be.
God give me a hat that day,
make the monster fly away.
And if I put glasses on,
double-vision will be gone.
But without the glasses there,
Gods and Jamies, still two spare.

“When you've tucked me in tonike,
leave the light on if you like:
I think that's the thing to do
so my monsters won't come true.
Double-God and double-me
would be very bad, you see,
so I'd like it much much more
if you didn't close the door.”

Little Jamie, three years old,
tells a tale that must be told:
When God clothes us, monsters fly,
even when they're storeys high.
But the worst that I can see:
two of God and two of me.
Which is which, and who is who?
Is it me, or him, or you?

Give me glasses, God, I pray:
make my vision clear as day.
May I know myself, and see
who it is you'd have me be.
May I always recognise
Christ, when he's before my eyes.
Shine your light, when I'm afar,
and leave heaven's door ajar.

Pamela said...

tortoise Seuss.

Pamela said...

For Master Myers:
"On the far-away Island of Sala-ma-Sond,
Yertle the Turtle was king of the pond.
A nice little pond. It was clean. It was neat.
The water was warm. There was plenty to eat.
The turtles had everthing turtles might need.
And they were all happy. Quite happy indeed.
They were...until Yertle, the king of them all,
Decided the kingdom he ruled was too small.
"I'm ruler", said Yertle, "of all that I see.
But I don't see enough. That's the trouble with me.
With this stone for a throne, I look down on my pond.
But I cannot look down on the places beyond.
This throne that I sit on is too, too low down.
It ought to be higher!" he said with a frown.
"If I could sit high, how much greater I'd be!
What a king! I'd be ruler of all I could see!"

From "Yertle the Turtle" by Dr. Seuss.

Ben Myers said...

Tortoise, that is absolutely sublime — will it be too sentimental if I admit that it brought tears to my eyes? I also read your poem to Jamie, who was very pleased, although he made one stern correction:

—"No, I was wearing two hats."
—"Two hats? How did you fit them both on your head?"
—"I don't know."

roger flyer said...

@ Tortoise. Brilliant!

Terry Wright said...

Some people have too much time on their hands, Tortoise; thank God!

Pamela said...

My apologies to tortoise for any offence. I'm sure Dr. Seuss would approve of your efforts.

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