“Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down. Children are demanding. They are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and generally congenial readers on earth.... Children are game for anything. I throw them hard words and they backhand them across the net.”
― E.B. White
Are you ever stunned by the conversations your kids are willing to have? How does the baby get into your tummy? When do you die? How is Jejus in the bread and wine? No answer really satisfies but the truest one. Me? I hear those questions, any real question, and I think, I clearly was not made of this kind of material. This is how you fall asleep.
At some point, and I don't think, at least for me, that it was a light switch moment, but at some point, everything that was raw and material and that ended in possible death became subjects beyond my fortitude. At some point, I got scared. I know my kids get scared. Their bravery is not completely unyielding, but they get scared of things like thunder. Loud sounds from the heavens. It's a proper fear. But death, angels, babies and The Holy Eucharist, they bend towards those things unflinching, dare I say with hunger.
I envy their ability to speak in plain verse. To speak about heaven without tears but imagination. Candor, their gift. It's as if they weave from heaven to earth on one sentence, never realizing how long that journey is. With ease, they speak of endings and beginnings. Their world, a strange diary of unicorns, death, rainbows, the hereafter, angels and dominions, fairies, princesses and ice cream. It is nothing short of bravery. And they have no idea.
GK Chesterton wrote, "Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”