As I sliced the red onion before me, I tried to surpress a smile. I was aggravated. My five-year-old refusing to do her homework, instead, distracted herself with a book, and I was tired of walking back and forth to the table trying to refocus her. Except, this time, she held a French cookbook and began instructing her imaginary audience. My aggravation momentarily subsided as I heard her lecture.
“This is the Word of God. The Word of God is very important.”
Okay, little theologian, I thought. What are you going to teach me today?
“The spirit in us is God.”
Impressive, I thought. She’s tackling some very complicated issues.
But then her sermon took a strange turn.
“Restaurants are bad. Not all of the food there is healthy. We should eat healthy things. God wants us to eat the healthy food He has given us. You should eat protein. Cheese is protein, and milk is protein. Anything that comes from an animal is protein.”
At this moment, I didn’t know which feeling to embrace–the one that wanted me to laugh or the one that wanted me to close her ‘Bible’ as I listened in embarrassment.
“Fish is healthy. Now, I don’t like fish, but fish is healthy.”
And the lecture continued, a weird mix of our Bible lessons with the Food Network.
At that moment I had the fear that all parents have when they realize that their children really are listening to them, and I had the discomfort of knowing that they could take my words and morph them into some heresy that I’ve never uttered.
I pictured the scenario of Hannah Grace telling her classmate, “My mom thinks your mom is going to hell because you have red jello in your lunch,” or Caleb sitting in therapy crying, “I want to please God, but I just love Doritos too much.
And then there’d be Chloe who would just say, “Mom’s crazy. Pass the fries.”
I hadn’t recalled weaving any talks on the Holy Spirit with facts about hydrogenated oils, but apparently my daughter made the connection. And, frankly, that fact made my vegetables rest a little uneasy in my stomach last night.
I’m thinking this weekend we’ll order pizza….
7 thoughts on “The Gospel According to Mom”
I always love your blog posts! Your kids are amazing, they'll sort out the details one day- until then, they will tech their friends about God and health. You've got to start somewhere!
I love how you characterized future Chloe!!
Order that pizza!!
Leftover pizza for dinner tonight, too! 🙂
Oh, girl, ain't it the truth that they are listening. I was struck once when I said something to my husband about someone from our church and, while it was not unkind, it was still a pastoral family moment I would not want repeated. Isabel turned to me and said: "who was that again?" Never again!
Their hearing is much better than I give them credit for sometimes! 🙂
This is wonderful, Jen! So funny, and poignant at the same time. Ah yes, being careful about what we say – it gets tiring, doesn't it??