Seriously, parenting makes me laugh. Today, Grace wrote a book in an old journal of mine. She intently colored pictures and wrote words, and was so proud to read it to me.
And it was horrific.
It was about Alvin and the Chipmunks, a murderous bad guy, and the Chippettes (the girl chipmunks for those of you who don’t watch these movies) who were having a very bad day. The Chippettes were killed 3 or 4 times in the book, with really bizarre graphic drawings of dead Chipmunks and Chipmunks in cages and people in their bed afraid because they heard the bad guy coming in the front door. The bad guy kept finding the poor Chippettes and Dave would somehow resurrect them in eggs. I vacillated between wanting to laugh and wanting to call a therapist as she read it to me.
We love Grace’s creativity and want to encourage it, but after the 3rd or 4th murder, I started to wonder. We don’t want to encourage fears that may go from cartoon drawings to real fears at nighttime (because I was a child who really struggled with fear and we want to nip that in the bud as soon as it starts). So I did want to talk to her and make sure she was good. So a few hours later, after I knew it wouldn’t feel like correction and after I’d thought through it, I called her over beside me so we could talk about her book.
We talked about how the Bible says for us to set our minds on things that are pure and good, and not on things that are scary, because like seeds in a garden our thoughts grow and we want to plant good thoughts and not scary thoughts in our minds. She agreed with me with a huge smile on her face and kept saying “Jesus is good like good thoughts and loves the little children!” (Sunday school answer, anyone?) We talked about how we can draw pictures that are happy and wonderful, and not scary with dead chipmunks everywhere. We talked about drawing the Chipmunks at the zoo, or at school with friends, or swimming in the pool.
I’m not going to lie – I was feeling like a super-mom. Back up James Dobson (Christian-bubble parenting expert), I’ve got this one.
She asked me for a new journal and I gave it to her. She spent another hour drawing intently and then came to show me her book. This story was quite different. It was about Jesus, living in a rainbow, and how the Chipmunks saw him from a long way away and went on a journey in a sailboat to find him.
I cannot tell you how hard it was for me to hold the laughter in. No doubt about it – this child is my daughter. We only operate in extremes. And I’m not sure, but rainbow Jesus may be as scary as the first book. I guess I’ll keep the Dobson book after all. Have a happy weekend friends!