The Daughter Chronicles

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The God question

Last week we started reading the Bible to Norah. We read kids' books to the kids, but we also read grown-up books to them - we've already read the Bible to Mia, for instance, several years ago. We finished reading the Narnia books to Norah and then gave her several choices about her next book, and she actually chose the Bible, so there's that. We're not very far into it - last night, Abram went into Egypt and turned his wife into Pharoah's whore just to save his own skin - but Norah is enjoying it even though she doesn't understand very much about it. We explain what goes on every night after we're done, and she understands the idea of people creating myths to figure out their world, but because the Bible is a bit repetitive and deals with a lot of unusual names, I think she gets lost occasionally.

Norah has been interested in the concept of God for a while, and we think that's why she chose the Bible. She's been more interested in death and what happens after it, which is a frustrating thing to discuss with a child, especially because we don't want to go for simplistic explanations. But now she's wondering more about God. She wondered why God didn't just build houses for Adam and Eve, for instance. I have told her that I don't believe in God, and Krys is a bit coyer about it (I don't know why; she just is), and after we started reading the Bible, she told us she didn't believe in God either. We told her that that was fine, but it's something that she's going to have to deal with as she grows up. She went into school and asked a few kids about it, one of whom goes to church every Sunday (Norah didn't tell us whether the girl believes in God or not, just that she goes to church). We explained that talking about God is kind of a minefield, and she needs to be very sensitive about it. That seemed to put her off asking about it in school, which wasn't our intent. We just tried to tell her that a person's relationship with God is a very personal thing, and she needs to understand that and she can't belittle anyone's beliefs. We think she got it, but who knows with a 6-year-old?

We'll see if this interest continues and how Norah deals with other weird stuff in the Bible (the Bible is quite a weird book, if you've never read it). I'm reading it to her because I think it's important that she understands the allusions to it that are everywhere in popular culture, and also to understand the concept of God and myths. That should be fun going forward!


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